Ashwini-Satwik in quarterfinals
Saina Nehwal sailed into the womens singles quarterfinals after defeating former champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in straight games but another...
Nanjing: Saina Nehwal sailed into the women's singles quarterfinals after defeating former champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in straight games but another medal hope, Kidambi Srikanth, crashed out of the World Championships after suffering a straight-game loss here on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa pulled off a stunning victory over the Malaysian world No 77 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai to progress to the quarter-finals.
PV Sindhu was in good form while beating Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-10, 21-18. Sai Praneeth too sailed into the last eight, defeating Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus 21-13, 21-11.
Saina, who had clinched a silver and a bronze medal at the 2015 and 2017 editions, downed 2013 champion Inthanon 21-16, 21-19 to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and former two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain.
"It is a very good win. She is known for deceptive game. Second game was going my way, but suddenly she played some difficult strokes, she was everywhere and made it 19-19.
At that point, Gopi sir played a big role. He told me what to do and I followed that and the game turned in my favour," Saina said after the match.
However, fifth seed Srikanth's dream of winning a medal came crashing after he was outwitted 18-21, 18-21 by the experienced Malaysian Daren Liew in a 41-minute clash.
"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.
Satwiksairaj and Ashwini, who put up an impressive show to help India win the historic mixed team gold at the Commonwealth Games, saw off Goh and Shevon 20-22, 21-14, 21-6 in a match that lasted 59 minutes.
The world no 40 Indian pair has a tough task at hand tomorrow when it faces Non.1 and top-seeded Chinese pair of Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong.
It was an even battle in the opening game as the Malaysian pair managed an 11-8 lead at the break and though Ashwini and Satwik clawed back at 14-14 and even held a slender 18-16 lead at one stage, their rivals were more composed and pocketed the game.
In the second game, Goh and Shevon opened up a 5-2 lead but this time Ashwini and Satwik drew parity at 9-9 and then broke off to comfortably bounce back into the contest.
In the decider, the Indians were brilliant as it aggressively dominated the proceedings.