Saina Nehwal storms past Intanon, sets World Championships record
Saina Nehwal beats Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon to become first women's singles player to enter eighth straight quarter-finals at World Championships; Srikanth ousted
Indian star Saina Nehwal defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in straight games to enter the quarter-finals, but it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth at the Badminton World Championships yesterday. The 10th seeded Hyderabad-based shuttler defeated her fourth seeded opponent 21-16, 21-19. Saina thus became the first ever women's singles player to reach eight consecutive quarter-finals at the World Championships.
Saina will meet seventh seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the last eight stage. "It is a good win. She is known for a deceptive game. Second game was going my way, but she played some difficult strokes and made it 19-19. At that point, Gopi sir played a big role. He told me what to do and the game turned in my favour," Saina said.
"There is less pressure on me now because in the last few tournaments, I haven't been able to cross the quarters but I have played well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Championship. But I can see that form goes here and there, but I am happy it is coming back in important events." Talking about her next match against Marin, Saina said: "I have played her at Denmark Open last, she is quick and aggressive and it would be a challenging match and I will look to give my best."
India's Kidambi Srikanth
Liew too good for Srikanth
Meanwhile, fifth seed Srikanth's dream of winning a medal came crashing down after he was outwitted 18-21, 18-21 by the experienced Malaysian Daren Liew. "I had my chances, but couldn't keep the shuttle in. Too many smashes out, too many mistakes. I should have handled it much better," said Srikanth. Earlier, PV Sindhu sailed into quarter-finals. Last edition's silver medallist, seeded third, eased past ninth seed Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 21-10, 21-18. "I am really happy with the performance. It was a good match overall even though I won the first set quite easy. But the second game was not easy. There were lot of rallies so I had to be consistent and patient," Sindhu said.
B Sai Praneeth also eased into the quarter-finals with a comfortable 21-13, 21-11 win over Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. He will next take on Kento Momoto. The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa pulled off a stunning 20-22, 21-14, 21-6 victory over the Malaysian World No. 7 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.
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