Asian Games: Saina storms into quarters, Sindhu crashes out

Incheon: Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal sailed into the quarterfinals with a comfortable straight-game win after P Kashyap advanced to the pre-quarters, but there was heartbreak for P V Sindhu in the 17th Asian Games here today.

World number seven Saina thrashed Iran's Soraya Aghaeihajiagha (2-0) 21-7 21-6 in a women's singles round of 16 match at the Gyeyang Gymnasium. The top Indian shuttler needed just 18 minutes to seal the match in her favour. While Saina took 18 minutes to win the first game, she pocketed the second in just four minutes against her hapless opponent.

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal. Pic/ AFP

Seeded sixth, Saina would be would up against no. 2 seed Wang Yihan of China. However, world number 10 Sindhu suffered a shocking 1-2 reverse to Manuputty Bellaetrix, ranked 34th, despite taking the first game.

Sindhu won the first game 22-20 in 19 minutes but went down 16-21 20-22 in the next two games, to bring an end to her campaign. Up against a higher-ranked opponent, Bellaetrix always seemed ready for the challenge in the 62-minute match.

In a mixed doubles round of 32 match however, India suffered a reverse with Akshay Dewalkar and Pradnya Gadre losing 20-22 21-17 13-21 to Triyachart Chayut and Yao Lei of Singapore. They lost the match in 42 minutes.

But Manu Attri and N Sikki Reddy won their mixed doubles round of 32 match against Rasheed Aishath Afnaan and Sharafuddeen Nasheeu 2-0 (21-8 21-4) in just 15 minutes.

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