Bangkok: Defending champion Saina Nehwal and rising star Arundhati Pantawane advanced to the pre-quarterfinals of Thailand Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament after notching up contrasting wins in women's singles competition.
World No 2 Saina didn't break much sweat as she prevailed over Shih Han Hung of Chinese Taipei 21-11 21-16 in a 29-minute match.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on Febby Angguni of Indonesia in the second round on Thursday.
Nagpur shuttler Arundhati, who returned to India's No 1 position after two years, saw off Min Ji Lee of Korea 14-21 21-9 21-15 in a 45-minute battle in the opening round.
Arundhati will next meet the winner of fifth seed Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand and Yeni Asmarani of Indonesia.
However, PC Thulasi suffered a 14-21 17-21 loss to third seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in another women's singles match.
In men's singles, Sai Praneeth B, fifth seed Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy, eighth seed Sourabh Verma, 10th seed Anand Pawar and 13th seed K Srikanth reached the second round.
Praneeth stunned 2003 All England Champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia 21-12 9-21 22-20 in a match that lasted 47 minutes, while Jayaram beat Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-11 19-21 21-9.
Prannoy defeated local player Nonpakorn Nantatheero 21-11 21-19 in another match and will take on fellow Indian Jayaram in the second round.
Pawar also prevailed over Indonesian Riyanto Subagja 21-15 9-21 21-14, while Sourabh defeated another local player Khosit Phetpradab 21-16 21-18 in another match.
Srikanth, meanwhile, thrashed Korean Hyuk Jin Jeon 21-17 21-12 to also reach the second round.


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