Sindhu and Saina advance to quarter-finals
Gold Coast: Star Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal and new world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth cruised into the quarterfinals of their respective singles events with easy wins in the Commonwealth Games badminton competition here on Thursday.
It was an all-win day for the Indian shuttlers as everyone stormed into the last-eight stage in their respective events.
Sindhu, who has recovered from an ankle injury, was stretched a bit by her Australian opponent Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen in the first game before clinching the match 21-15 21-9 in a 34-minute round of 16 women's singles match.
The Rio Olympics silver medallist did not play in the mixed team event which was won by India.
"She (Chen) is a junior player, so she's doing really well. I didn't take it easy because you never know anything can happen at any moment. I just played my game and finished it off," Sindhu said after her match.
Asked about the possibility of two all-Indian finals in the men's and women's singles, Sindhu said: "I think definitely yes. We are going to see ourselves in the finals both sides. It would definitely be a good thing."
Nehwal, the 2012 Olympics medallist, did not have to sweat at all as her opponent Jessica Li of Isle of Man retired hurt in the second game after the Indian had won the first 21-4. Nehwal was leading 2-0 in the second game when Li decided to retire.
Li injured her right ankle at the end of the first set which forced her to concede the match. "The last point was really tricky because I didn't know (what had happened to her). Yes she fell, but I didn't know if it was bad, ankles are delicate. It will definitely be a tough injury for her. It's the Commonwealth Games and we all wish to play. But, a match is a match. She tried her best," Nehwal said. Young Ruthvika Gadde also made it to the quarter-finals with a 21-10 21-23 21-10 win over Jia Min Yeo of Singapore in another round of 16 match.
In men's singles, Srikanth celebrated his Numero Uno status with an easy 21-10 21-10 win over Niluka Karunaratne of Sri Lanka in just 33 minutes in his singles round of 16 match.
H S Prannoy also joined Srikanth in the quarter-finals with a comfortable 21-18 21-11 victory over Anthony Joe of the host country.