Saina, Srikanth enter quarterfinals

Saina, Srikanth enter quarterfinals

India's Saina Nehwal quelled Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 10-21, 21-14, 21-17 to enter the quarterfinal of the French Open on Thursday. REUTERS FILE PHOTO

Defending champion Kidambi Srikanth and India ace Saina Nehwal made their way to the quarterfinals of the USD 750,000 French Open BWF World Tour Super 750 here on Thursday.

Srikanth showed great determination to outwit Korea's world no 25 Lee Dong Keun 12-21, 21-16, 21-18 in a second-round clash that lasted an hour and 13 minutes. The Indian had lost twice to the 27-year-old Korean in the past two meetings.

Saina, who had reached the finals at Denmark Open last week, continued her good run by outwitting former World champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 10-21, 21-14, 21-17 in another exciting contest. The Indian had beaten Okuhara last week as well.

However, both Srikanth and Saina will have a tough task at hand as they face world champion Kento Momota of Japan and world no 1 ranked Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei respectively on Friday.

World No 6 Srikanth will have to bring all his experience to the fore as Momota has outclassed the Indian four times this season. Momota enjoys a 9-3 lead over Srikanth in the head-to-head count.

Saina too has been no match for Tzu Ying, who defeated her in the finals last week at Odense. The Taiwanese has a overwhelming 13-5 record against Saina, who has lost the last 11 times she has faced her.