Saina warms up with easy win

Badminton World Championship : Fine victories for Srikanth, Prannoy, Jwala-Ashwini; Kashyap makes early exit

Saina warms up with easy win

 Saina Nehwal sailed into the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s singles with a comfortable straight-game win but it was heartbreak for Parupalli Kashyap in the men’s competition at the World Badminton Championship here on Wednesday.

Kidambi Srikanth and H S Prannoy also made it to the pre-quarterfinals with straight-game victories in the men’s singles.

The second-seeded Saina, who got a bye in the first round, had an easy start to her campaign as she took just 34 minutes to overcome Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi 21-13 21-9 in a second round match.

Saina will next take on fourth seed Sayaka Takahashi of Japan. It was a dominating show by the shuttler from Hyderabad and after taking a 6-1 lead in the first game, there was no looking back for her. Saina simply kept on surging ahead to wrap up the opening game 21-13.

The second game also went on similar lines as Saina never let her rival come even close to her. It was a matter of time before she sealed it 21-9.

World No. 3 Srikanth, who won the India Super Series this year, defeated Chinese Taipei’s Hsu Jen Hao 21-14 21-15, while world No. 12 Prannoy beat Uganda’s Edwin Ekiring 21-14 21-19 in another lop-sided contest. Third seed Srikanth will take on 13th seed Hu Yun of Hong Kong, against whom the Hyderabadi has a 2-0 record, while 11th seed Prannoy have a tough task ahead as he faces Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen. The world No. 7 has beaten Prannoy twice in the last two meetings.

The Commonwealth Games champion Kashyap, seeded 10th, played out of his skin but could not get past 32-year-old Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam, losing 21-17 13-21 18-21 in a tough encounter that lasted an hour and five minutes.

There was good news for 2011 World Championship bronze medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa as the 13th seeds beat Chinese Taipei pair of Hsueh Pei Chen and Wu Ti Jung 21-10 21-18 in women’s doubles competition.

The Glasgow Commonwealth Games silver medallists will next meet eighth seeds Reika Kakiiwa and Miyuki Maeda of Japan in the pre-quarterfinals.

Among other Indians in fray, women’s doubles combo of Pradnya Gadre and Sikki N Reddy suffered a 17-21 19-21 loss to 14th seeded Japanese combo of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar went down 16-21 12-21 to Denmark’s Mads Conrad-Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding in the men’s doubles event.

Lee advances

In men’s singles, Lee Chong Wei claimed his first proper scalp on Wednesday, defeating 12th seed Marc Zwiebler so convincingly the German declared his Malaysian opponent ready to win his first world crown.

Lee, who has settled for silver at the last three World Championships, blew away Zwiebler 21-14, 17-21, 21-8 to book a spot in the third round.

World number one Chen Long’s bid to defend his world crown got off to a strong start as he dismissed Estonia's Raul Must 21-15, 21-7.

There were upsets elsewhere, with local hero Tommy Sugiarto unable to fend off wily Hong Kong shuttler Wei Nan. Sugiarto, Indonesia's only hope in the men's singles, eventually succumbed 24-26, 21-8, 20-22.

It wasn't all bad news for the hosts on Wednesday, with local shuttler Lindaweni Fanetri upstaging 13th seed Minatsu Mitani from Japan in the women's singles.

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