Saina moves into quarters

Arvind, Ajay bow out tamely in second round

Second seed Saina rallied to outlast Intanon 18-21, 21-12, 21-18 in a 46-minute clash to set up a quarterfinal with Chinese qualifier Xin Wang on Friday.

Xin thumped sixth-seeded Japanese Ai Goto 21-14, 21-14 in another pre-quarterfinal.
Intanon played better from the net and scored from her smashes but could not get past Saina, who recovered well from a game down to get the better of her Thai rival.

In a see-saw battle, Intanon had the upper hand when she overcame Saina in the first game. Even though Saina played well, the game slipped through her fingers.

With her back to the wall, the world number eight Indian switched into an aggressive mode in the next game and raced to a 9-6 lead before pocketing it comfortably at the end.

At 1-1, the decider turned out to be a perfect pot-boiler as fortunes fluctuated with the two involved in a tooth and nail battle. At 1-1, the decider turned out to be a perfect pot-boiler as fortunes fluctuated with the two involving in a tooth and nail battle.

Saina raced to a 10-5 lead but the Thai soon reeled off four straight points to claw back and reduce the gap to 9-10 before Saina changed gears and eventually sealed the issue.

However, it was curtains for Arvind Bhat and Ajay Jayaram in men’s singles. Ninth-seeded Arvind was trounced by Chinese Long Chen 5-21, 11-21 in just 27 minutes, while Ajay went down to Yun Hu of Hong Kong 15-21, 14-21 within half an hour.

India’s mixed doubles pair of V Diju and Jwala Gutta brushed aside the Malaysian duo of Wee tat Tan and Hui Ern Ng 21-12, 21-12 to move into the quarterfinals, where they will meet the Indonesian pair of Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa on Friday.

The men’s doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas won their first-round match against the sixth-seeded Chinese duo of Zhiben Chen and Ye Shen 14-21, 21-15, 21-16 in a 53-minute clash. They will next face the Malaysian pair of Teik Chai Gan and Bin Shen Tan.

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