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Barcelona Masters: Saina, Sameer in QF; Srikanth loses

Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
February 20, 2020 20:57 IST
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Sameer Verma

IMAGE: India’s Sameer Verma scored a hard-fought victory over Germany's Kai Schaefer to make it to the quarter-finals in the Barcelona Spain Masters. Photograph: Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal scored a straight-games victory over Ukraine's Maria Ulitina to storm into the women's singles quarter-finals of the US $170,000 Barcelona Spain Masters, in Barcelona, on Thursday.

 

Saina, who is facing a race against time to qualify for her fourth Olympics, brushed aside Maria 21-10, 21-19 in the second round to set up a last-eight clash with Thailand's third seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan, who has beaten the Indian twice in the last two encounters.

Sameer Verma also made it to the last eight with a hard-fought 21-14, 16-21, 21-15 win over Germany's Kai Schaefer. He will face either Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn or Ireland's Nhat Nguyen in the men's singles quarter-finals.

However, former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth's wretched run continued as he went down 6-21, 17-21 to fellow-Indian Ajay Jayaram, diminishing his hopes of qualifying for the Tokyo Games.

Srikanth, who had lost in the first round in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand, desperately needs to win a tournament or make it to the quarters and semi-finals consistently to qualify for the Olympics.

N Sikki Reddy also endured a difficult day, as she lost both the mixed doubles and women's doubles and bow out of the competition.

Sikki and her women's doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa, who is coming back from an injury, lost 18-21, 14-21 to Bulgaria's Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva, seeded third.

In the mixed doubles, Sikki and Pranaav Jerry Chopra went down fighting 16-21, 21-17, 11-21 to the top seeded Malaysian pair of Goh Soon Huat and Lai Shevon Jemie.

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Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2020 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.
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