Fuzhou (China): London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal along with male shuttlers Parupalli Kashyap and Kidambi Srikanth, reached the quarter-finals of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center here Thursday.
While women's World No.5 Saina was made to work hard for her 21-18, 21-18 win over World No.239 Qin Jinping of China, Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap beat China's Xue Song 11-21, 21-11, 21-13 in 54 minutes in the men's singles second round match.
In the other match, World No.16 Srikanth overcame China's World No.43 Gao Huan 21-17, 19-21, 21-14 in a marathon encounter which lasted an hour and 18 minutes to progress to the next round.
In the match between Saina and Jinping, the Hyderabadi started the first game slowly, conceding a 0-4 lead to Jinping before fighting her way back to equalise 7-7.
The 24-year-old Indian gradually began to take control of the proceedings. The Chinese battled hard but Saina managed to win the game 21-18.
The second game was a neck-and-neck contest till both the shuttlers reached the 12-point mark. Jinping rattled Saina by taking four straight points. The Indian took one point and also conceded one to trail 13-17.
Later, Saina staged a brilliant comeback to equalise 17-17 and sprung into rhythm to take the next four points quickly as Jinping added only one to remain at 18 points.
In her next match, Saina will meet 2010 World Junior Championships bronze medal winner Suo Di of China. Suo defeated United States' Iris Wang 11-21, 21-15, 21-16.
In the match between Kashyap and Hue, the World No.17 Indian was surprised by the World No.60 Hue's tenacity. Hue didn't give any chance to Kashyap in the first game, winning it 21-11.
In the second game, Kashyap improved his game and played with much more precision and purpose.
He was alert from the beginning and always had the upper hand. After taking a 9-7 lead, he upped the ante and won six straight points after which it was a formality for him.
In the third game, Kashyap played aggressively from the start. He raced to a 11-2 lead in no time before Hue tried to control the damage. The Chinese earned five straight points to reduce the deficit to six points at 15-9.
Kashyap, though, was in no mood to give away freebies and finished the game 21-13.
In the quarter-final, the 28-year-old Indian will face Germany's World No.25 Marc Zwiebler, who stunned World No.2 Chen Long of China 13-21, 25-23, 21-19 in a pulsating encounter that lasted an hour and 26 minutes.