Spirited start by Saina


Saina Nehwal on Wednesday began her campaign for an elusive medal at the world championships with a crushing straight-games victory over lower-ranked Olga Golovanova of Russia in the women’s singles.
London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had reached the quarter-finals in the 2009 and 2011 editions, brushed aside Olga 21-5, 21-4 in just 23 minutes to set up a clash with 15th seed Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in the pre-quarter-finals on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, P.V. Sindhu overcame a fighting Kaori Imabeppu of Japan to secure her place in the third round of the women’s singles competition. Seeded 10th, Sindhu, who won the Malaysia Grand Prix in May this year, had to sweat it out for an hour and 11 minutes before she prevailed over the unseeded Imabeppu 21-19, 19-21, 21-17.
However, it was heartbreak for Ajay Jayaram as he lost 9-21, 17-21 to Spain’s Pablo Abian in a 31-minute contest in the men’s singles.

Lee stretched, top seeds cruise
World no. 1 Lee Chong Wei was forced to fight for his place in a thrilling battle with an unseeded opponent. The Malaysian’s arch-rival, Chinese superstar Lin Dan, breezed through his second-round match against Dutchman Eric Pang, winning 21-14, 21-17, leaving him on a collision course for a final against Lee.
Spectators in Guangzhou were left stunned as they watched Lee lose the first game of the second round 14-21 to Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka of Indonesia, who is ranked 26th in the world. But Lee recovered to take the second game 21-18 before winning the third 21-11 to seal the match.
Top women’s seed Li Xuerui of China beat Ukraine’s Marija Ulitina 21-9, 21-10 while current champion and compatriot Wang Yihan, beat Indonesia’s Belaetrix Manuputi 21-12, 21-8.

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