Australian open: Saina, Srikanth enter last eight
Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth registered straight wins to sail into the quarter-finals of women’s and men’s singles of the $750,000 Australian Badminton Open Superseries at the Sydney Olympic Park on Thursday.
Seventh seeded Saina edged past Malaysian Jin Wei Goh 21-12, 21-14 while World No.13 Srikanth beat Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro 21-19, 21-12 to find themselves in the last-eight stage of the competition.
The London bronze medalist had an easy outing against her unseeded rival as she lost little sweat to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Jin tried to give a fight but the World No.8 used all her experience to finish off the tie in just 37 minutes.
In the quarters, Saina will face World No.2 Ratchanok Intanon, who beat Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin 21-7, 21-9 in the second round.
Srikanth, who slipped in the Badminton World Federation rankings, got a tough fight in the opening game but bounced back well to pocket it.
In the second game, the Guntur-born shuttler dominated the proceedings right from the start to win the match, which lasted for just 34 minutes.
Srikanth will next take on South Korean qualifier Kwang Hee Heo in the quarters.
World No.1 Chen Long beat Malaysian Zulfadli Zulkiffli 21-17, 21-12 to set up a quarter-final clash with Ginting.
Earlier in the day, India’s Sameer Verma and Tanvi Lad crashed out of the tournament after suffering contrasting defeats.
While Sameer went down fighting to Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 21-11, 7-21, 19-21, youngster Tanvi was no match for her fourth seeded Chinese rival Wang Yihan as she went down 18-21, 6-21.
Sameer failed to keep the momentum going after winning the first game as he lost the next game only to make a comeback in the third but it was too late as the Indonesian used his experience to pocket the match in 53 minutes.
Tanvi tried hard to give Wang a fight in the opening game but the Chinese dominated the proceedings in the second to take the match away.