Kuala Lumpur: Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu made a positive start, staving off a stiff challenge from Japan’s Aya Ohori in the women’s singles opening round at the US $700,000 Malaysia Open World Tour super 750 tournament, on Wednesday.
Sindhu, who had skipped the Uber Cup Finals to regain full fitness after claiming a silver at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, took some time to get into the groove before she edged out World No 14 Ohori 26-24, 21-15 in the opening round match.
The third-seeded Indian will face the winner of the match between Malaysia’s Ying Ying Lee and Chinese Taipei’s Chiang Ying Li next.
However, it was curtains for Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth as he went down 12-21, 7-21 to Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei in a men’s singles contest.
Sindhu’s slender 8-6 lead vaporised when Ohori had a 12-10 and 15-13 advantage at one stage.
But Sindhu managed to turn the tables, reaching 19-17. The Japanese came back to grab game points at 20-19 but the Indian saved one. However, she failed to convert three game points herself as Ohori again held a 24-23 lead.
In the end, Sindhu held her nerves to close out the opening game.
In the second game, Sindhu eked out a slender 8-6 lead at one stage and despite a fightback by Ohori, she managed to break free at 14-14 to comfortably seal the contest.
Kidambi Srikanth and men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty will be in action later in the day.