Saina sails into last-eight stage

Jwala-Ashwini crash out

Saina Nehwal outclassed Pi Hongyan of France 21-10, 21-17 to advance to the women's singles quarterfinals of the All England badminton championships here on Thursday.

Briton Rajiv Ouseph returns during his shock win over Denmark’s Peter Gade on Wednesday. AFP

Saina, world no 4, beat Pi, number 23 in a little over half hour in the second round. The Indian will meet either Maria Febe Kusumastuti of Indonesia or China's Xuerui Li in the last eight stage.

 The doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta, however, lost their second round match to the number two seeds Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao of China 10-21, 15-21.

 Chinese Lin Dan, a four-time an All England winner, kicked off his quest for a fifth title with a victory over India's Ajay Jayaram, winning 21-18, 21-15.

Angry Gade bows out

Former title winner Peter Gade of Denmark proved the highest profile loser on a marathon first-day's play which ended in the early hours of Thursday morning, nearly 17 hours after the first shuttle was struck.

Observers and media struggled to recall a later finish in a major tournament and there was criticism from fourth seed Gade after his three-game loss to English champion Rajiv Ouseph. The duo started their match 70 minutes past midnight with Ouseph triumphing 17-21, 21-16, 21-14 to claim what could be regarded as the biggest win of his career.

Gade, 35, All England champion in 1999, said: “No matter how crazy it sounds, we sort of expected this could happen because we saw the way they planned the tournament. Thirty-five minutes for each game, that's impossible.

When the last point was won in a women's singles match involving China's world number two Wang Xin, there were around 20 people watching. Wang also bowed out in a contest that lasted just 31 minutes, beaten 21-8, 21-13 by South Korean Sung Ji-hyun.

Organisers had attempted to stage 80 matches on the four courts with the final game estimated to start at 2120 but were undone by a glut of three-set matches, one lasting one hour and 27 minutes.

Big names like titleholder Lee Chong Wei and Lin Dan started their matches very late into the evening with the Chinese finishing after midnight.

Lee, the Malaysian world No 1, beat unseeded Chinese Wang Zhengming 21-16, 21-11 to line up a match with talented Dane Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

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