Sarawak [Malaysia], Jan.18 : Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal produced a rich vein of form as she kicked off her campaign at the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament with a crushing straight games victory over Thailand's Chasinee Korepap here on Wednesday.
The top-seeded, who made a first-round exit in the Rio Olympics in August due to a knee injury which required surgery, registered a crushing 21-9, 21-8 win over Korepap in the opening round contest that lasted 25 minutes.
Nehwal will now take on Indonesia's Hanna Ramadini for a place in the quarter-finals. Fresh from his good performances in the recently-concluded Premier Badminton League (PBL), sixth-seed Ajay Jayaram, on the other hand, first survived a scare against Malaysia's Jun Hao Leong before registering a comfortable win over Saputra Vicky Angga After clinching a comfortable win in the first set, Jayaram went down by a whisker in the second one before rebounding strongly to register a 21-10, 17-21, 21-14 win over Malaysian opponent in the opening round.
The second match was comparitively easy for Jayaram as he hammered Vicky Angga 21-9, 21-12 to storm into the third round.
Jayaram will now take on Hsueh Hsuan-yi of Chinese Taipei's for a place in the quarter-finals. In the mixed doubles event, newly-formed Indian pair of Manu Attri and Jwala Gutta defeated Indonesian duo of Lukhi Apri Nugroho and Ririn Amelia 21-19, 21-18.They will next lock horns with Indonesian pair of Tontowi Ahmad and Inagloria Emanuelle Widjaja.