Saina, Sindhu enter quarterfinals of Malaysia Open
Shah Alam: Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu continued their winning run at the Malaysia Open, notching up contrasting victories to reach the quarterfinals of the women's singles competition at the USD 550,000 Super Series Premier tournament here today.
Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu
After Sindhu edged out Korea's Sung Ji Hyun, seeded seventh, 22-20 21-17 in a 47-minute clash, Saina brushed aside another Korean Bae Yeon Ju 21-10 21-16 in a match that lasted a little over half an hour.
The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu had lost to Sung Ji at Hyderabad during the Asian badminton Championship team event but today avenged the loss and took her head-to-head record against the Korean to 5-3.
The 20-year-old from Hyderabad will next meet former World Champion and two-time India Open winner Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, while Saina has set up a meeting with Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who stunned All England champion Japan's Nozomi Okuhara, seeded 8th, 21-12 22-20.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina, seeded third, stamped her authority on the second round clash against Bae as she reached a 11-3 lead at the interval in both the games and didn't give much chance to her opponent to make a comeback.
Saina has now beaten the Korean nine times in 13 meetings.
Sindhu almost blew away a 9-6 and 20-18 lead in the opening game before managing to surpass Sung Ji and earn the bragging rights. In the second game, she fought back from 6-8 down to finally break off at 15-15 with five straight points, reaching 20-15. The Korean saved two match points before Sindhu sealed off the issue.
Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China, seeded second, 14-21 21-18 21-1 in another second round match. Interestingly, Li had reached the finals at India Open last week.
Among others, World No. 1 Carolina Marin, Chinese duo of Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan also reached the last eight. In men's singles, India Open champion Japan's Kento Momota gave a walkover to 2010 Commonwealth silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph of England.
Second seed Lee Chong Wei, China's Lin Dan, seeded 4th, Denmark duo of Viktor Axelsen, seeded 6th, and Jan O Jorgensen, fifth seed, also won their respective matches and reached the quarterfinals.