Saina Nehwal, Sindhu storm into quarterfinals of Malaysia Open
Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu continued their winning run at the Malaysia Open, notching up contrasting victories to reach the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition at the USD 550,000 Super Series Premier tournament here on Thursday.
After Sindhu edged out Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, seeded seventh, 22-20 21-17 in a 47-minute clash, Saina brushed aside another Korean Bae Yeon Ju 21-10 21-16 in a match that lasted a little over half an hour.
The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu had lost to Sung Ji at Hyderabad during the Asian badminton Championship team event but on Thursday avenged the loss and took her head-to-head record against the Korean to 5-3.
The 20-year-old from Hyderabad will next meet former World Champion and two-time India Open winner Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, while Saina has set up a meeting with Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who stunned All England champion Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, seeded 8th, 21-12 22-20.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina, seeded third, stamped her authority on the second round clash against Bae as she reached a 11-3 lead at the interval in both the games and didn’t give much chance to her opponent to make a comeback. Saina has now beaten the Korean nine times in 13 meetings. Sindhu almost blew away a 9-6 and 20-18 lead in the opening game before managing to surpass Sung Ji and earn the bragging rights.
In the second game, she fought back from 6-8 down to finally break off at 15-15 with five straight points, reaching 20-15. The Korean saved two match points before Sindhu sealed off the issue.