Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth advance at India Open

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Saina Nehwal could become the new No.1 women’s singles player in badminton by end of this week (photo: Saina Nehwal's twitter)

New Delhi: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and P Kashyap reached the second round while young Sameer Verma created the biggest upset of the day by stunning World No. 9 Hans-Kristian Vittinghus at the USD 275,000 Yonex Sunrise India Super Series badminton tournament on Wednesday.Saina Nehwal could become the new No.1 women’s singles player in badminton by end of this week (photo: Saina Nehwal's twitter)

World No. 2 Saina brushed aside young Riya Mukherjee 21-5, 21-13 in the women’s singles while World No. 4 Srikanth saw off Thailand’s Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-17, 21-16 without much ado in the opening round of the men’s singles main draw at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

All England finalist Saina will next take on compatriot Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, who beat qualifier Rucha Nikam 21-7, 21-6.

Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap got into good rhythm after recovering from a hamstring injury with a tricky 16-21, 21-19, 21-18 win over Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao. He next meets Chinese qualifier Xue Song, who beat fourth seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.

However, it was Sameer Verma, brother of 2011 National Champion Sourab Verma, who notched up a stunning 21-15, 21-17 win over Denmark’s Hans-Kristian, seeded fifth, to set up a match with Commonwealth Games bronze medallist RMV Gurusaidutt.

Guru prevailed over Korea’s Lee Dong Keun 21-14, 17-21, 23-21 in another match.

Among other Indians in fray, Indonesia Masters winner H S Prannoy set up a clash with world No. 2 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark after beating Misha Zilberman of Israel 22-20, 21-8.

In the women’s singles, Riya Pillai beat qualifier Ekta Kalia 23-21, 21-5 to reach the second round.

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