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Saina romps into World Championships quarters

August 11, 2011 22:33 IST

Saina Nehwal stormed into the women's singles quarter-finals at the World Badminton Championships at the Wembley Arena, in London, on Thursday.

The world No 6 Indian ace was leading 21-3, 13-5 when her opponent, Pui Yin Yi of Hong Kong, seeded 14th, retired from the third round match.

However, Ajay Jayaram, however, couldn't get past the pre-quarters hurdle, losing 21-18, 12-21, 11-21 to sixth seeded Jin Chen in the men's singles.

Saina NehwalJwala Gutta and V Diju were also unable to advance; they lost to the fifth seeded English pair of Joachim Fischer Nielsen and Christinna Pedersen 9-21, 15-21 in 34 minutes.

Saina, who reached the quarter-finals in the 2009 and 2010 editions too, opened up a 2-0 lead and then moved with giant strides of three, seven and nine points to leave Pui Yin helpless in the first game.

The second was no different, as Saina raced from 5-1 to 9-3. The Hong Kong girl could score just two more points before conceding the match.

"I am happy to make it to the quarters. I am in the best shape this year and, hopefully, I will play well.

"In 2009 I was suffering from chicken pox and didn't get much time to train, but this time, I have trained for more than a month," said Saina, who will take on the winner of the third round match between 12th seed Petya Nedelcheva and third seed Xin Wang of China.

"I was disappointed with the Indonesia final as I was so desperate to win that tournament, but I am happy that I am completely fit and in sound health now. There is no pressure and I hope to give my best," she added.

Jayaram, who stunned Kenechi Tago in the opener, squandered a first-game lead and could not match up to his Chinese counterpart, who sent down as many as 20 net winners compared to eight by the Indian.

In the first game, trailing 0-5, Jayaram narrowed down the gap and caught up with Chen at 9-9 and went neck and neck till 18-all before marching ahead to grab a 1-0 lead.

But Chen didn't give the Indian any chance in the second game, registering eight straight points from 13-12 to roar back into the contest.

In the decider, Jayaram had opened up a 10-7 lead but the Indian couldn't make use of it as the Chinese first drew parity before wrapping it up with a straight 10-point burst once again.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa will take on 11th seeds Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong in the third round later in the day.

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