Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap reached the quarterfinals of the Yonex All England Open badminton championships with contrasting victories here on Thursday.
World No. 3 Saina defeated Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia 21-16, 21-11 in a 34-minute women’s singles match at the National Indoor Arena, while London Olympics quarterfinalist Kashyap notched up a stunning 21-18, 21-12 victory over world No. 6 Kenichi Tago in the men’s singles pre-quarterfinals.
However, it was curtains for young shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Sourabh Verma, who went down in straight games to superior opponents in the prequarterfinals last night.
World No. 16 Sindhu suffered a 21-17, 21-14 loss to fourth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany in a 39-minute women’s singles match. World No. 43 Sourabh fought hard before going down 21-19, 21-19 to No. 8 Vietnamese Tien Minh Nguyen.
The mixed doubles pair of G. Jwala and V. Diju too crashed after a 21-17, 21-16 loss to Polish pair of Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba in the pre-quarterfinals.
In the women's singles match, Saina put her smashes to good use to outclass the Indonesian, who played well at the nets but didn't have enough strokes in her armoury to challenge the Indian.
After surging ahead with a 7-3 lead, Saina went into the breather at 11-7 but the Indonesian clawed back to make it 12-12. However, the Indian was unfazed and slowly marched ahead to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Saina was more dominating and was 11-2 up midway. After that, though Belaetrix tried her best, Saina didn't give much chance to her unfancied rival.
Up against Tago, Kashyap used his smashes with precision and tried to match the Japanese at the nets.
The Indian opened up a 6-3 lead initially and made it 11-10 lead at the break. Tago soon clawed back at 12-12 but Kashyap didn't allow him to get an upper-hand and gained the bragging rights with a 1-0 lead.
In the second game, Kashyap was more dominating right from the start. After opening up a slim 4-3 lead, he kept widening the gap. Tago crumbled under pressure to give Kashyap a comfortable win.
The results (pre-quarterfinals):
Men's singles: Jan Jorgensen (Den bt 4-Sony Dwi Kuncoro (Ina) 11-7 (retd.); 1-Lee Chong Wei (Mas) bt Wang Zhengming (Chn) 21-17, 21-19; 2-Chen Long (Chn) bt Takuma Ueda (Jpn) 21-15, 21-10; Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk (Tha) bt Sho Sasaki (Jpn) 21-9, 21-11; 5-Chen Jin (Chn) bt Chen Yuekun (Chn) 21-10, 21-10; Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) bt Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) 21-12, 21-8; 8-Tienh Min Nguyen (Vie) bt Sourabh Verma (Ind) 21-19, 21-19; P. Kashyap (Ind) bt 7-Kenichi Tago (Jpn) 21-18, 21-12.
Women's singles: Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) bt Nichaon Jindapon (Tha) 21-18, 21-17; Sung Ji-Hyun (Kor) bt Pai Hsiao Ma (Tpe) 21-12, 21-10; Eriko Hirose (Jpn) bt Bae Yeon Ju (Kor) 20-22, 22-20, 21-19; 7-Tine Baun (Den) bt Han Li (Chn) 21-13, 22-20; 4-Juliane Schenk (Ger) bt P.V. Sindhu (Ind) 21-17, 21-14; 6-Wang Shixian (Chn) bt Jiang Yanjiao 21-11, 21-13; 2-Saina Nehwal (Ind) bt Belaetrix Manuputi (Ina) 21-16, 21-11; Lindaweni Fenatri (Ina) bt Porntip Buranaprasertsuk (Tha) 21-14, 21-10.
Mixed doubles: Robert Mateusiak & Nadiezda Zieba (Pol) bt Jwala Gutta & V. Diju (Ind) 21-17, 21-16.