Lucknow: Two-time winner Saina Nehwal and defending champion Parupalli Kashyap made a positive start to their campaign at the Syed Modi International badminton tournament, reaching the pre-quarterfinals of the women's and men's singles competition respectively.
London Olympics bronze medallist, Saina reached the second round with a 21-7 21-9 thrashing of Matilda Petersen of Sweden in just 28 minutes to set up a clash with Russian Natalia Perminova at Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.
Saina was in complete control throughout the match and won seven points on the trot in both games to force her Swedish opponent into submission.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist, Kashyap, on the other hand, first notched up a 21-14 21-16 victory over compatriot Anup Sridhar and then registered a 21-10 21-12 win over Malaysia's Yee Han Chong in his second match of the day to reach the third round, where he will face 12th seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia.
Second seed and last edition's runners-up, PV Sindhu, however, had to toil before getting across Malaysia's Li Lian Yang 21-19 24-22 to set up a clash with Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland on Thursday.
Former national champion Sayali Gokhale, National Games champion Arundhati Pantawane, Tanvi Lad, Saili Rane and Dhanya Nair also reached the prequarterfinals today.
Among others in men's singles, second seed Ajay Jayaram, third seed RMV Gurusaidutt, fourth seed Anand Pawar, sixth seed K Srikanth, seventh seed H S Prannoy, eighth seed Sourabh Verma, 11th seed Sai Praneeth B, 14th seed Arvind Bhat, 16th seed Subhankar Dey and young Aditya Prakash — all reached the pre-quarters. 13th seed Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin also reached the third round.
In the men's singles, Jayaram streamrolled Vinay Kumar Reddy P 21-12 21-12 and then eked out a hard-fough 27-25 21-15 win over Malaysia's Teck Zhi Soo in the next match. He will take on Subhankar, who beat Abhimanyu Singh 18-21 21-12 21-19 and then notched up a difficult 21-14 9-21 21-9 win over Kaushal Dharmamer.
Guru had a good day in the court as he first defeated Velavan Vasudevan 21-10 21-10 and then sent packing Vipul Saini 21-11 21-11 in another match.