Anup stuns Peter Gade to make quarterfinals

Saina too enters last eight of Singapore Open with gritty win

Olympian Anup Sridhar on Thursday pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the tournament, beating world number two Dane Peter Gade to reach the quarterfinals of the Singapore Open Super Series badminton tournament.

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal also reached the quarterfinals after staving off a scare from Indonesian Adrianti Firdasari in Singapore City. Sixth seed Saina beat 19th ranked Firdasari 21-18, 17-21, 21-17 in a 50-minute battle.

The day, however, belonged to Anup. The world number 39 Indian defeated third seed Gade 21-19, 16-21, 21-13 in an edge-of-the-seat thriller which lasted close to an hour.
In the quarterfinals, Anup takes on Thai Boonsak Ponsana, who beat sixth seed Simon Santoso 21-11, 21-7. In the see-saw battle, Anup opened up a four-point lead at 14-10 in his first game and although his rival clawed back at 15-all first and then 16-17, the Bangalorean battled his way to eventually pocket the game.

The second game also could have gone either way as the duo went neck-and-neck from 3-3 to 9-9 before the Dane thumped his mark and raced away with the game.

The decisive third game turned out to be a complete thriller as the duo didn’t concede an inch without fight and went 3-3, 5-5 and then 11-11 before Anup broke free and grabbed seven straight points to seal the match.

World number seven Saina’s match was also no different as the Hyderabadi indulged in a tooth-and-nail battle with Firdasari. Trailing 7-8 in the first game, Saina held her nerves and first drew parity at 9-9 and then opened up a five-point lead at 17-12. Her Indonesian rival, however, narrowed the gap to 19-18 before Saina raced away to seal the game.

In the second game, Saina marched ahead with a 6-3 lead but Firdasari came from behind to lead 11-7 and although Saina played her heart out, the game just slipped through her fingers.

The Hyderabadi shuttler again opened up a 4-1 lead in the last game and although her Indonesian counterpart drew parity at 9-9 and 11-11, the world number seven Indian kept the pressure on and sealed the match 21-16.

World number seven Saina said she was more comfortable on Thursday with the drift and didn’t make any unforced errors.

“It was yet another difficult match today, a complete rollercoaster ride but I was more comfortable with the conditions. I played within the court, didn’t make much unforced errors and was more patient,” Sainasaid. Saina, who takes on world number four Chinese Lin Wang in the quarters, is aware that it would be another uphill task for her but the Olympian said she would look to give her 100 percent.

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