Top seed Saina Nehwal fought hard to defeat Indonesia's Hanna Ramadini in the first round of Macau Open Grand Prix Gold on Wednesday.
World No. 11 Saina won 21-23, 21-14, 21-18 to world No. 44 Hanna. Saina, who was expected to win the tie easily, was given a reality check by the Indonesian.
In the first game, Saina could not take lead even once as she lost it 21-23. The 2012 London bronze medallist regained composure in the second game and did not give Ramdini any chance.
The third game had the same story as Saina won it comfortably. After PV Sindhu's withdrawal, Saina is the highest-ranked Indian in the tournament.
In men's singles, Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap reached the pre-quarterfinals but it was curtains for Hong Kong Super Series finalist Sameer Verma.
Kashyap, who recovered from multiple injuries and then took a break after the Denmark Open to work on his fitness and game, defeated Chinese Taipei's Chun-Wei Chen 21-19, 21-8.
He will take on Chinese Taipei's Lin Yu Hsien next. For young Sameer, who had an exception campaign at Hong Kong last week, failed to break the defence of Muhammad Bayu Pangisthu of Indonesia and lost 18-21 13-21 to bow out of the tournament.
Third seeded men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy saw off Hong Kong's Chan Alan Yun Lung and Li Kuen Hon 21-11 17-21 21-9. They will take on Singapore's Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Hendra Wijaya.
Kashyap, who is back on the circuit after over a month, lead 5-0 early on and then entered the lemon break at 11-7.
However, Chun-Wei led a strong challenge and turned the tables with an eight-point burst. The Indian then slowly and steadily made his way back to reach 16-19 before sealing the opening game with five straight points.
In the second game, Kashyap was very dominant as he broke off as early as 5-5 and never looked back as Chun-Wei crumbled under pressure.
(With inputs from PTI)