Shuttlers Sindhu, Saina reach All England quarters
Birmingham, March 9:
India’s P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal moved into the women’s singles quarter-finals, but men’s singles shuttler H.S. Prannoy lost in the second round of the All England Open Badminton Championships here on Thursday.
Sixth seed Sindhu tamed Indonesian Dinar Dyah Ayustine in a 21-12, 21-4 second-round victory, while eighth seed Saina thumped German qualifier Fabienne Deprez 21-18, 21-10 in 35 minutes.
The only Indian men’s singles player left in the second round, Prannoy failed to mount a challenge against Chinese seventh seed Tian Houwei, losing 13-21, 5-21 in 33 minutes.
Meanwhile, the Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy gave their all but couldn’t avoid a 19-21, 20-22 close defeat against South Koreans Yoo Yeon Seong and Kim Ha Na late Wednesday night.
However, Sindhu and Saina on Thursday posted facile victories to keep the Indian campaign alive in the world’s oldest badminton tournament at the Barclaycard Arena.
Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu was hardly troubled by World No.39 Ayustine, who came under a barrage of attacks from the Indian. Sindhu won the match in 30 minutes.
Sindhu led 12-3 in the first game and afterwards it was a formality. The second game turned out to be much more easy as Sindhu raced to victory conceding only four points.
Sindhu zoomed to a 9-0 lead before the 23-year-old Indonesian bagged three points on the trot. The 21-year-old Sindhu continued her attacking spree and earned nine successive points without any fuss.
Later in the day, Saina had to battle hard to clinch the first game. The Indian looked a bit rusty at the very beginning, holding a 5-4 lead. She looked better as the game progressed that helped her take a 12-8 advantage. But German Fabienne fought back and equalised at the 12-point mark.
Afterwards, it turned out to be a see-saw battle till the 17-point mark when 2012 Olympic bronze medal winner Saina really showed her experience to snatch the game with three successive points.
The second game, however, saw Saina cruising nicely, holding a 11-6 lead at the mid-game break. Saina hardly broke into a sweat to notch a 21-10 win to progress into the quarter-finals. (IANS)