BWF World Championships 2022: Saina Nehwal beat Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi in straight games; moves into pre-quarters

Nehwal was being coached by her husband and fellow shuttler Parupalli Kashyap from the sidelines.
Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal (Source: Twitter)

London Olympic bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal kicked off her BWF World Championships campaign with a straight-game win over Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi on Tuesday, August 23, 2022. The Indian shuttler won the game 21-19 21-9 in just 38 minutes.

Nehwal, who is aiming to return to her winning ways had to fend off some pressure points, especially in the second game’s first half. From 4-4 in the first game, Cheung Ngan Yi opened a small lead before Saina equalled the scoreline at 10-10. Both the shuttlers went neck-and-neck till 18-18 before Saina won the last few crunch points to seal the game. The Indian shuttler was being coached by her husband and fellow shuttler Parupalli Kashyap from the sidelines.

The ace shuttler totally dominated the second game. Nehwal opened an early lead and kept her advantage throughout from 5-3 to build a lead of 14-8 and went on to seal the win. She played deft drop shots, powerful smashes, and her signature cross-court winners, which the Hong Kong shuttler desperately tried to grab but in vain. The veteran shuttler improved her head-to-head record against Ngan Yi, who is ranked 50 in the world, to 4-1.

According to the draw, Nehwal was scheduled to face former World Champion Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the following round. However, Okuhara withdrew from the Championships due to injury giving the Indian a bye. Nehwal will move into the round of 16 directly.

The 32-year-old is beginning to resemble her old classic self as she appeared quicker and was able to find her range more often than not.  She will be itching to increase her medals tally at the World Championships. Nehwal had earlier won a silver and a bronze at the tournament in 2015 and 2017 respectively.

Saina is the only Indian woman remaining in the women’s singles competition after Malvika Bansod was eliminated. It is be noted that two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu is not taking part in the World Championships due to a stress fracture on her left ankle which she sustained during the Commonwealth Games 2022.

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