Saina, Kashyap reach quarters of Indonesia Open

Last Updated 14 June 2012, 15:18 IST

Two-time champion Saina Nehwal advanced to the quarterfinals with a hard-fought victory but it was P Kashyap who created a flutter when he stunned the top seed Chinese, Chen Long in straight-games to make the last eight stage of the Indonesia Super Series in Jakarta today.

The world number 26, Kashyap, who had qualified for the London Olympics at the last moment during the India Open Super Series in New Delhi, defeated Chen, ranked third, 21-17 21-14 in a 45-minute match in the men's singles event.

He will next take on Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the quarterfinals tomorrow. Earlier, fifth seeded Saina survived a scare from world ranked 46th, Aprilla Yuswandari of Indonesia before beating her 21-17 14-21 21-13 in a match that lasted almost an hour in the women's singles competition.

The world number five Indian, who was the runners-up in the last edition, will next take on third seed Chinese Shixian Wang, who got the better of Juan GU of Indonesia 21-12 21-11 in another match.

Saina, who clinched the title twice in succession in 2009 and 2010, holds a 2-1 record against Shixian and had beaten the Chinese in the final of the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold to clinch her first title of the season in March.

Kashyap rode on his smashes and better net play to outwit the Chinese. The Indian had pocketed 26 smash winner and accumulated 14 points from the net. Chen, in comparison, had 21 smash winners and only seven net winners.

In the first game, after conceding a narrow 1-4 lead, Kashyap clawed back at 8-8 and kept his nose ahead to pocket the game. Chen, who had a 3-1 record against Kashyap before today's match, once again opened up a narrow 4-2 lead in the second game but the Indian fought back to catch up with Chen at 9-9 and then moved in giant steps to seal the issue.

Earlier in the day, Saina kept her campaign on track but the Indian was tested by the local girl. The Indonesian opened up a 3-0 lead first up and fought a hard battle till 14-14 before Saina registered five straight points to march ahead and grab a 1-0 lead in the match.

Not ready to take it lying low, Aprilla got into a fierce battle with Saina in the second game and surged ahead from 10-10 to bounce back in style. In the decider, Saina, however, started playing more smashes and accumulated points from the nets. Aprilla lagged behind right from the start and soon ran out of steam as the Indian sealed the issue comfortably in the end.

Saina had won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold last week in Bangkok. In men's singles, Ajay Jayaram suffered a 15-21 14-21 loss to Indonesian Dionysius Hayom Rumbaka in 35 minutes to crash out of the tournament.

In another match, eight seed German Juliane Schenk ended P V Sindhu's run in the tournament after beating her 21-14 21-14 in 33 minutes.

(Published 14 June 2012, 08:39 IST)

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