Blog by: Suryakant Tripathi.
Saina Nehwal faced tough resistance from Brazilian player Lohaynny Vicente but did just about enough at crucial junctures to post a win on the start of the tournament. She won 21-17, 21-17 in a match that lasted 39 minutes.
Saina is the number five seed in the competition and bears medal aspirations in the singles event. She would also be keen to improve her bronze medal showing at the London Olympics.
Vicente imposed herself on Saina with lovely deft touches and cleverly disguised drop shots to keep Saina guessing and at bay.
Saina started brightly to take a 6-2 lead in the first game but that is when the Brazilian came back into things to reduce the deficit. At the break, Saina lead 11-10.
The close contest continued after the water break with the two players locked at 17-17. Then Saina turned on the charm to win four points in a row to win the first game 21-17.
In the second game, Saina squandered her early lead once again to go from 11-5 to 14-11.
With the match being extended and Saina getting into the thick of things, Vicente started to lose grip of the match.
Soon enough, Saina brought on six match points to make it 20-14.
The Brazilian won three points in a row to delay the inevitable which happened after 17 minutes in the second game as Saina won the second game by 21-17 too.
Next up for Saina is Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina.
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