TOKYO: London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal made a winning start to her campaign at the ongoing BWF World Championships 2022, beating Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong in straight games on Tuesday in her first-round match in the women's singles category.
The 2015 World championship silver medallist Saina played a hard-fought opening game where she was trailing 4-7 at one point but clawed her way back as she went into the break 10-11. After that, it was a neck-to-neck battle which the Hyderabadi shuttler won 21-19.
In the second game the two-time world championship medallist Nehwal was clinical in her approach winning four points on the trot and winning the game 21-9.
She needed just 38 minutes to wrap up the match 21-19 21-9 and register her fourth win in five meetings. Saina will now play in the third round as her second-round opponent Nozomi Okuhara of Japan has withdrawn from the tournament.
The 32-year-old shuttler will take on the winner of the second-round match between 12th seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand and Yvonne Li of Germany.
Saina is the only Indian shuttler left in the women's singles at the World Championships as Malavika Bansod was knocked out in her opening round match. The 2019 champion PV Sindhu could not compete in the tournament due to an injury.
Earlier in the day Treesa Jolly and Pullela Gayatri beat the Malaysian pair of Low Yeen Yuan and Valeree Siow in their first-round match in the women's doubles category 21-11, 21-13.