Saina, Sindhu in quarters, Srikanth ousted

Saina, Sindhu in quarters, Srikanth ousted

P V Sindhu brushed aside Korea's Sung Ji Hyun to enter the quarterfinals of the World Badminton Championships on Thursday. FILE photo

Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu sailed into the women's singles quarterfinals with straight-game wins but it was curtains for Kidambi Srikanth at the BWF Badminton World Championships here on Thursday.

Saina, who had clinched a silver and a bronze at the 2015 and 2017 editions, downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16, 21-19 to make her eighth straight entry into the quarterfinals. She will next face Olympic champion and two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain.

Later in the day, last edition's silver medallist Sindhu, seeded third, eased past ninth seed Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-10, 21-18 in another third round clash.

Sindhu will next play eighth-seeded Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, who had beaten the Indian in the final last year.

B Sai Praneeth also eased into the men's singles quarterfinals with a comfortable 21-13, 21-11 win over Denmark's Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus. He will next take on sixth seed Kento Momoto.

The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also stood one step away from a medal after pulling off a stunning 20-22, 21-14, 21-6 victory over the Malaysian world No 7 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.

Fifth seed Srikanth's dream of winning a medal came crashing down after he was outwitted 18-21, 18-21 by the experienced Malaysian Daren Liew in a 41-minute clash.

"I had my chances but couldn't keep the shuttle in. Too many smashes out, too many mistakes. I should have handled it much better," said Srikanth.

Saina showed amazing retrieving skills against Intanon, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from an injury.

"It is a very good win. She is known for a deceptive game. The second game was going my way, but suddenly she played some difficult strokes, she was everywhere and made it 19-19. At that point, Gopi sir played a big role. He told me what to do and I followed that and the game turned in my favour," Saina said.

"Pressure is less on me now because the last few tournaments I haven't been able to cross the quarterfinals but I have played well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Championship. But I can see that the form sometimes goes here and there but I am happy it is coming back in important events."

Talking about her next match against Marin, Saina said: "I have played her at Denmark Open last, she is quick and aggressive and it would be a challenging match for me and I will just look to give my best."

Lin Dan ousted

Lin Dan's bid for a sixth world title met a sorry end as the man widely regarded as the best player of all time was beaten 21-5, 21-9 by Chinese compatriot Shi Yuqi in the last 16.

Men's reigning champion Viktor Axelsen of Denmark and women's number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan both progressed.

The 24-year-old Axelsen pulled through against 10th seed Angus Ng Ka-long of Hong Kong 21-19, 21-18 and will play China's Olympic champion Chen Long in a mouthwatering showdown

Tai defeated American Zhang Beiwen 21-19, 21-14. 

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