Rediff.com  » Sports » World Championship: Saina, Sindhu sail into quarters; Srikanth ousted

World Championship: Saina, Sindhu sail into quarters; Srikanth ousted

Last updated on: August 02, 2018 19:27 IST

Saina Nehwal

IMAGE: Saina Nehwal downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand in straight games to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and two-time World champion Carolina Marin. Photograph: Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu sailed into the women's singles quarter-finals with straight-game wins but it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth at the BWF Badminton World Championships, in Nanjing, China on Thursday.

Saina, who had clinched a silver and a bronze at the 2015 and 2017 editions, downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 21-16, 21-19 to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and two-time World champion Carolina Marin of Spain.

Later in the day, last edition's silver medallist Sindhu, seeded third, eased past ninth seed Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 21-10, 21-18 in another third round clash.

Sindhu will next play eight seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, a rival against whom she lost in the summit clash of the tournament last year.

 

B Sai Praneeth also eased into the quarters with a comfortable 21-13, 21-11 win over Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. He will next take on sixth seed Kento Momoto.

The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also stood one step away from a medal after pulling 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.

However, 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 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.

Ashwini Ponappa

IMAGE: Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa in action. Photograph: BWF/Twitter

Saina showed amazing retrieving skills against Inthanon, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from an injury.

"It is a very good win. She is known for a 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.

"The pressure is less on me now because the last few tournaments I haven't been able to cross the quarter-finals but I have played well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Championship. But I can see that the form sometimes 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 for me and I will just look to give my best."

Earlier, Ashwini and Satwik showed great composure as they recovered from a game down to prevail over their higher ranked opponents.

It was an even battle in the opening game in which 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 to pocket 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 bounce back into the contest.

In the decider, the Indian pair was brilliant as it aggressively dominated the proceedings. They led 11-4 at the interval and continued in the same vein after the breather to storm into the quarters.

© Copyright 2019 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
SHARE THIS STORYCOMMENT