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Saina Nehwal to face PV Sindhu in blockbuster QF at India Open badminton

Saina Nehwal took just 33 minutes to dispatch Pompawee Chochuwong of Thailand with a 21-14, 21-11 win while PV Sindhu outplayed Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-16, 23-21 in their India Open second round matches on Thursday. The Indian stars will face each other on Friday.

other sports Updated: Mar 31, 2017 09:42 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Saina Nehwal,PV Sindhu,India Open badminton
Saina Nehwal in action against Pornpawee Chochuwong (THA) during their singles match at the India Open 2017 in New Delhi on Thursday. (PTI)

Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu will clash in the quarterfinals of the India Open World Super Series on Friday after both of them won their second round matches comfortably.

Saina Nehwal took just 33 minutes to dispatch Pompawee Chochuwong of Thailand with a 21-14, 21-11 win while PV Sindhuoutplayed Saena Kawakami of Japan 21-16, 23-21.

The arch-rivals were, however, guarded in their response to questions on the much-anticipated quarterfinal.

‘’Have plans to give my best and make less mistakes in my next match. Since the top ten players are good, it is not easy to predict outcome of the match,’’ Saina said.

Sindhu also said much the same thing. “Like everyone, I am also looking forward to the match. Shall prepare for the contest and give my best,’’ she said.

Read more | Won’t let Saina Nehwal regain world No 1 ranking: Carolina Marin

Chochuwong, 19, was expected to challenge Saina. But she was erratic --- sometimes misjudging the flight of the shuttle and at other times, landing shots outside the court.

“It wasn’t as challenging as I expected, but I still had to move fast on the court to earn points,’’ Saina said after the match.

Sindhu though was stretched in the closing stages.

“The second game was close as the Japanese fought well but it wasn’t her day,’’ she said.

Read more | Saina Nehwal hopes to strike form at Indian Open

Top seed Carolina Marin of Spain thrashed her second round opponent Rituparna Das of India. The Spanish took just 27 minutes to score a 21-13, 21-11 win and enter the quarters.

South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun was the first shuttler to earn a place in the women’s singles quarterfinals. Sung, seeded second, took just 21 minutes to score a 21-6, 21-8 win over Linda Zetchiri of Bulgaria. Despite the quick win, Sung felt she needed to be more consistent.

“I should be more consistent because the scope of error shall be very less from quarterfinal onwards,’’ she said.

The Korean shuttler is anticipating a title clash with India’s PV Sindhu. ‘I have done my homework. I am familiar with Sindhu’s attacking style of play. Hopefully, it should work in my favour,’’ she added.

Sameer enters last eight

Sameer Verma continued his good run in the men’s singles event with a 21-17, 21-15 win over Yu Hu of Hong Kong.

Sameer, who is the only Indian in the men’s quarterfinals, said his rival wasn’t able to read his strategy.

Sameer’s elder brother Sourabh bowed out in the second round after losing 21-19, 14-21, 22-20 to NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong. Sourabh was leading 19-17 in the decider, but then fumbled and gifted away the match.

Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth, the two other Indians in the men’s fray, also lost. Praneeth lost 21-14, 21-16 to Chou Tien Chen while Srinath went down 21-7, 21-12 to Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Axelsen’s compatriot Hans Kristian Solberg Vittinghus also got a berth in the quarters after beating Lee Dong Keun of South Korea 21-19, 21-16.

First Published: Mar 31, 2017 00:17 IST