India’s PV Sindhu made a winning start at the All England badminton championships in Birmingham on Wednesday (11).
Sindhu, the 2019 world champion and the silver medallist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, defeated Beiwen Zhang of the United States 21-14, 21-17.
The 24-year-old Sindhu will face Korea’s Sung Ji-hyun in the second round.
In the mixed doubles, the top-seeded Chinese pair of Zheng Si Wei and Huang Ya Qiong beat India’s Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy 21-13, 11-21, 21-17.
Home favourites Chris and Gabby Adcock lost to Hafiz Faizal and Gloria Widjaja of Indonesia.
The husband-and-wife team were beaten 21-19, 17-21, 21-12 by the eighth seeds in the mixed doubles.
Reigning women’s champion Chen Yufei of China made a successful start to her title defence afer coming from behind to beat world number nine An Se-young in three games.
Afterwards, Chen said winning the title again would give her compatriots something to cheer, with China the country hit hardest by the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
“A win here would definitely be great for the people of China,” the world number one told the All England website.
“I’m a little bit worried about my family and friends in China, but I’ve had plenty of time to prepare for the game here.
“Coronavirus is not having much of an effect because we have been training in the UK,” she added ahead of a second-round match with Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan after her three-game victory over Mia Blichfeldt.