Kuala Lumpur: Star shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth notched up straight-game wins to progress to the quarterfinals but it was curtains for Saina Nehwal in the USD 7,00,000 Malaysia Open badminton tournament here Thursday.
Sindhu brushed aside the challenge of Malaysia’s Ying Ying Lee 21-8, 21-14 to set up a clash with Olympic champion and Carolina Marin. The 22-year-old Indian has a 5-6 head-to-head record against the Spaniard.
In men’s singles, fourth seed Srikanth saw off Chinese Taipei’s Wang Tzu Wei 22-20, 21-12 in 36 minutes. Wei had defeated B Sai Praneeth in the first round, Wednesday. The 25-year-old from Guntur, will clash Friday with France’s Brice Leverdez.
Earlier in the morning session, Saina’s run at the Malaysia Open ended with a 15-21, 13-21 loss to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi. This was Saina’s sixth straight loss to the Japanese in seven meetings.
World No.3 Sindhu hardly broke any sweat as she first opened up a 6-4 lead and then reeled off eight straight points to jump to 14-4. In the second game, Sindhu again held an 8-7 lead before moving to 13-7. Lee tried to make a comeback but Sindhu was always ahead as she comfortably sailed into the quarters.
In the men’s match, Srikanth surrendered a healthy 11-3 lead at the interval as Wang kept breathing down on his neck to finally tie the score at 20-all. However, the Indian grabbed the next two points to take a crucial lead.
In the second, Srikanth was ruthless as he surged to 10-2 advantage and despite Wang trying to step up his attack, the Indian kept his composure to seal the contest comfortably.
Yamaguchi was always in command against Saina. In the first game she took a commanding 9-2 lead. Saina fought back to narrow the gap to 10-11 but the Japanese again jumped to an 18-11 advantage and eventually won the opening game comfortably.
In the second game, Yamaguchi again raced to an 8-2 advantage before shutting the door on the Indian without much ado.
At a glance
PV Sindhu bt Ying Ying Lee 21-8, 21-14
Kidambi Srikanth bt Wang Tzu Wei 22-20, 21-12
Saina Nehwal lost to Akane Yamaguchi 15-21, 13-21
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