Fresh from playing a major role in India's historic Thomas Cup triumph, ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the men's singles second round of the Thailand Open with a tough three-game win over Brice Leverdez of France in Bangkok on Wednesday. (More Badminton News)
Srikanth, seeded eighth in the BWF Super 500 tournament, won the first round match 18-21 21-10 21-16 in 49 minutes.
He next faces qualifier Nhat Nguyen of Ireland, who defeated Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus of Denmark 21-12 23-21 in the first round.
The Indian men's team, led by Srikanth, had beaten powerhouse and 14-time champions Indonesia in the final to win the country's maiden Thomas Cup title on Sunday.
London Olympic bronze medallist Saina battled hard for 50 minutes before losing 21-11, 15-21, 17-21 against Korean Kim Ga Eun in the women's singles first round.
Indian qualifier Ashmita Chaliha lost to seventh-seeded Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 10-21, 15-21 in a first-round match that lasted 29 minutes.
Compatriot and another qualifier, Aakarshi Kashyap lost to Michelle Li of Canada 13-21 18-21 to bow out of the tournament in the first round.
Malvika Bansod battled her way into the second round with a fighting 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 win over Ukraine's Maria Ultina. He will next face Line Christopherson of Denmark.
The mixed doubles pair of B Sumeeth Reddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also suffered a first round exit, losing to the eighth-seeded Japanese duo of Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo 17-21, 17-21 in 34 minutes.
It was also curtains for B Sai Preneeth and Sourabh Verma in the men's singles opening round. While Praneeth lost 12-21, 13-21 to Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand,.Sourabh was shown the door by Toma Junior Popov of France 20-22 12-21.
Other top Indian shuttlers like PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy, who was also a member of the Thomas Cup title-winning team, will be in action later in the day.