Saina keeps Indian flag flying high
Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal entered the quarterfinals of the women's singles after posting a hard-fought victory over Eriko Hirose of Japan in the...
Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal entered the quarterfinals of the women's singles after posting a hard-fought victory over Eriko Hirose of Japan in the Singapore Super Series here on Thursday. However, all other Indians in the fray lost their respective second round matches to bow out of the competition.
The World No. 4 Indian took a little more than an hour to pack off the Japanese 16-21, 21-16, 21-9 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in the last-eight stage. Both Saina and Hirose started on equal footing in the opening game and it was a neck-and-neck battle till 14-14 before the Japanese girl opened up a slender two-point lead. She then successfully managed to keep the Indian at bay by maintaining a healthy gap to wrap up the game in her favour.
Saina bounced back in the second game and surged ahead to 4-1 but Hirose clawed back with five straight points and opened up a 6-4 lead. Thereafter though, the game was seen tilting from one end to another and the two were tied at 12-12. Saina then successfully broke free and eventually moved up to 20-16 before taking the match to the decider.
The third game was a cakewalk for Saina as her opponent ran out of steam to let the Indian register an easy win. In the men's singles meanwhile, Sai Praneeth B went down fighting 11-21, 21-17, 16-21 to Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia in a second round match. Sai Praneeth, who had stunned world No. 4 Yun Hu of Hong Kong in his opening round match, could not repeat Wednesday's performance as he lost in a contest that lasted 53 minutes.
Giant-killer Sai Praneeth lost to Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia in a second round; Gurusaidutt out in first round