Thursday, February 22, 2024

Saina storms into quarters

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Jakarta: Defending champion Saina Nehwal advanced to the quarterfinals of the Indonesian Open Super Series after registering a straight-game victory over Petya Nedelcheva in the second round here on Thursday.

Fourth Seed Saina took just 31 minutes to dispose off Petya 21-18 21-9 and will take on the winner of eighth seed Tine Baun and Japan’s Ayane Kurihara in the quarterfinal tomorrow.

In the first game, Saina opened up a four-point lead at 6-2 and though the Bulgarian caught up with her at 12-all, the Indian was successful in keeping her nose ahead to pocket it after a close-fight.

The 21-year-old Indian turned more aggressive in the second game and after leading 5-2 kept taking giant strides forward to widen the gap and eventually took the game away from Petya.

Saina won the Indonesian Open twice on consecutive years in 2009 and 2010.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa continued to have an indifferent form as the Indian pair lost a hard-fought second round match to sixth seeded combo of Meiliana Jauhari and Greysia Polii. The unseeded Indian pair lost 20-22 21-18 18-21 to their Indonesian counterpart. (PTI)

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