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Saina, Arundhati reach pre-quarters in Thailand Open

World No 2 Saina didn't break much sweat as she prevailed over Shih Han Hung of Chinese Taipei 21-11 21-16 in a 29-minute match here.  The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on Febby Angguni of Indonesia in the second round tomorrow. 

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Nagpur shuttler Arundhati, who returned to India's No 1 position after two years, saw off Min Ji Lee of Korea 14-21 21-9 21-15 in a 45-minute battle in the opening round. Arundhati will next meet the winner of fifth seed Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand and Yeni Asmarani of Indonesia.

However, PC Thulasi suffered a 14-21 17-21 loss to third seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in another women's singles match. In men's singles, Sai Praneeth B, fifth seed Ajay Jayaram, HS Prannoy, eighth seed Sourabh Verma, 10th seed Anand Pawar and 13th seed K Srikanth reached the second round.

Praneeth stunned 2003 All England Champion Muhammad Hafiz Hashim of Malaysia 21-12 9-21 22-20 in a match that lasted 47 minutes, while Jayaram beat Indonesia's Shesar Hiren Rhustavito 21-11 19-21 21-9.

Prannoy defeated local player Nonpakorn Nantatheero 21-11 21-19 in another match and will take on fellow Indian Jayaram in the second round. Pawar also prevailed over Indonesian Riyanto Subagja 21-15 9-21 21-14, while Sourabh defeated another local player Khosit Phetpradab 21-16 21-18 in another match.

Srikanth, meanwhile, thrashed Korean Hyuk Jin Jeon 21-17 21-12 to also reach the second round. In the women's singles match, Saina was not tested much as her opponent Shih Han's fight lasted till the sixth point. The Indian soon reeled off seven straight points to move to 16-7 and then comfortably pocketed the first game.

Shih Han tried to put up a fight in the second game and breathed down Saina's neck initially but the Indian broke off from 12-12 and widen the gap to eventually close the door on the Taiwanese girl. PTI

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