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KUALA LUMPUR: Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu, who returned from a break, won in straight sets against Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour to reach the second round of the women’s singles at the Malaysia Masters Super 500 badminton tournament here on Wednesday.

Sindhu, ranked 15th in the world, who missed the Uber Cup and Thailand Open, beat Gilmour, ranked 22nd in the world, 21-17, 21-16 in an opening match that lasted 46 minutes.

The fifth-seeded Indian, who last won the Singapore Open in 2022, will next face South Korea’s Shim Yu-jin.

In the mixed doubles, world number 53 B. Sumeeth Reddy and N. Sikki Reddy also reached the second round after defeating Hong Kong qualifiers Lui Chun Wai and Foo Chee Yeung 21-15, 12-21, 21-17 in 47 minutes.

The husband-and-wife pair will next face the task of beating Malaysia’s top seeds Cheng Tan Jie and Toh Yi Wei.

It was Sindhu’s third win over two-time Commonwealth Games medallist Gilmour.

The 28-year-old Sindhu quickly opened up a 7-1 lead before Gilmour fought back to fight back at 14-14 and 15-15, but the Indian won six of the next eight points to take the opening game and end Sindhu’s hopes of a challenge.

After the change of sides, Sindhu was more ruthless and never allowed her opponent to come back after taking another 3-0 lead. Sindhu was 11-6 at the break and continued to lead, earning eight match points. Gilmour deserves credit for fending off four before Sindhu comfortably won the match.

Former world champion Sindhu has suffered a string of close losses since returning from a knee injury earlier this year and will be hoping to perform well here to boost her confidence ahead of the Paris Olympics.

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