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Saina in quarters at Singapore; Praneeth goes down fighting

June 20, 2013 19:32 IST


Saina Nehwal scored a hard-fought victory over Eriko Hirose of Japan to enter the quarter-finals in the women's singles at the Singapore Super Series on Thursday.

However, other Indians in the fray lost their respective second round matches and bowed out of the competition.

The world No 2 Indian ace took a little more than an hour to beat the Japanese 16-21, 21-16, 21-9 at the Singapore indoor stadium.

The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will take on Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia next.

Saina NehwalSaina and Hirose were engaged in a neck-and-neck battle till 14-all in the opening game, before the Japanese opened up a two-point lead and maintained it to take the game.

Saina bounced back in the second and surged ahead 4-1, but Hirose clawed back with five straight points and opened up a 6-4 lead.

Thereafter the lead changed hands constantly. The two were tied at 12-12 before Saina broke away and took the game at 16.

The third game, however, was cakewalk for Saina as the Japanese ran out of steam.

Meanwhile, Sai Praneeth B went down fighting 11-21, 21-17, 16-21 to Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia in the second round of the men’s singles.

Praneeth, who had stunned world No 4 Yun Hu of Hong Kong in his opening round match, could not repeat Wednesday’s showing and lost in 53 minutes.

India's campaign also ended in the mixed and men's doubles.

While the men's doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar lost to the sixth seeded Korean duo of Baek Choel Shin and Yeon Seong Yoo 14-21, 19-21, in 33 minutes, Arun Vishnu and Aparna Balan were outplayed by Indonesians Praveen Jordan and Vita Marissa 10-21, 18-21 in just 27 minutes in the mixed doubles.

Image: Saina Nehwal

Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters

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