Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth made winning starts in the New Year, notching up first round wins at the $500,000 Malaysia Open Super Series Premier here Wednesday.
Eighth seed Saina took 36 minutes to get rid of Indonesia's Hera Desi 21-10, 21-16 in their first ever meeting in the first round of women's singles at the Putra Stadium. The World No.8 next faces Chinese World No.30 Yao Xue in the second round.
World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu had a tough outing against old foe Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia. But the World No.11 Indian came out on top, winning 21-17, 21-18 in 43 minutes to take a 3-2 head-to-head lead.
Sindhu now faces a tougher road ahead against South Korean sixth seed Yeon Ju Bae, who beat the Hyderabadi in their only match at the 2012 Japan Open.
In men's singles action, World No.16 Kashyap had a fantastic day as he beat Germany's World No.12 Marc Zwiebler for the first time in three meetings. The Indian won his tie 21-19, 21-13 in 34 minutes.
The 26-year-old Hyderabadi, however, will have to bring out his best against Danish World No.3 Jan O Jorgensen in the next match. Third seed O Jorgensen leads 3-1 in career meetings over the Indian.
Recently crowned national champion, Srikanth also sprung a surprise as he drubbed Hong Kong's World No.11 Hu Yun 21-17, 18-21, 21-16 in a marathon match which lasted an hour and three minutes. The Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold winner will next face Wan Ho Son of South Korea in his second career meeting.
It was a disappointing day for Mumbai's Anand Pawar who could not put up much of a fight against Zhengming Wang of China and went down 12-21, 11-21 in 33 minutes.
RMV Gurusaidutt also went down, losing to Dutch Eric Pang in 55 minutes. Pang won 21-18, 11-21, 23-21.