Kuala Lumpur: Rising Indian women’s doubles pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Pullela Gopichand on Tuesday sailed into the round of 16 of the Malaysia Open Super 1000 badminton tournament while ace shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal suffered first-round exits.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist pair Treesa and Gayatri registered a straight game 21-19, 21-14 victory over Hong Kong’s Yeung Nga Ting and Yeung Pui Lam of Hong Kong here at Axiata Arena.
The world No. 16 Indian pair will cross swords with the world No. 14 Bulgarian sisters Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Earlier, two-time Commonwealth Games champion Saina, who endured a tough 2022, battling multiple injuries and a lack of form, went down 12-21, 21-17, 12-21 to Han Yue of China in the $1,250,000 tournament.
Having lost the first game, Saina, who has slipped to world No. 30, fought back to force a decider in a women’s singles first round match.
However, the 2012 Olympic bronze medallist fell behind as Han built a sizable lead to take the fixture comfortably.
Former world No. 1 Srikanth’s surrender was tamer. The World Championship silver medallist, who has also been struggling for form recently, was stunned by the unseeded Kenta Nishimoto of Japan 19-21, 14-21 in 42 minutes.
Srikanth, ranked 13th, fought hard in the opening game, but Nishimoto managed to take the lead.
The two shuttlers were tied at 12-12 in the second game but the Japnese ran away with the contest from there.
It was also curtains for Akarshi Kashyap who was outplayed 10-21, 8-21 by Wen Chi Hsu of Chinese Taipei in her women’s singles opener.