Barcelona Masters: Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma enter quarters; Kidambi Srikanth crashes out

Barcelona Masters: Saina Nehwal, Sameer Verma enter quarters; Kidambi Srikanth crashes out
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Highlights

India’s badminton ace Saina Nehwal defeated Maria Ulitina of Ukraine to enter the women’s quarter-final of Barcelona Spain Masters on Thursday.

India's badminton ace Saina Nehwal defeated Maria Ulitina of Ukraine to enter the women's quarter-final of Barcelona Spain Masters on Thursday.

Saina, who is racing against time to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, secured an easy win in straight games 21-10, 21-19 to set up a last-eight clash against Thailand's seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who has defeated the Olympic bronze medallist twice in their previous two meetings.

Meanwhile, Sameer had a tougher match on Thursday but he emerged victorious by sealing the game 21-14 16-21 21-15 against his German opponent Kai Schaefer. The Indian will next take on either Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn or Ireland's Nhat Nguyen in the men's singles quarterfinals.

The Indian, whose Tokyo hopes suffered a major hit in Barcelona on Thursday, was Kidambi Srikanth. He suffered a fourth consecutive early exit from the singes' tournament as he went down 6-21 17-21 to compatriot Ajay Jayaram. Srikanth, who suffered first-round exits at Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, desperately needed to win or at least make it to the quarters or semis consistently in order to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020, which are due to begin in August.

Meanwhile, N Sikki Reddy also had a bad day as she lost both the mixed doubles and women's doubles and crashed out of Barcelona Spain Masters.

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