Bangkok: Saina Nehwal powered into the semifinals of the Thailand Open GP Gold, but it was a bad day overall for India as their three men shuttlers crashed out of the quarterfinals.
Top seeded Saina gave the Indians a great start by overcoming local hopeful Sapsiree T 21-10 22-20. However, her compatriots could not match her and went down without much of a fight.
National champion Sourabh Verma, taking on veteran Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro, was expected to win as he had a 1-0 record going into the match. With his win over the tough Indonesian Yunus Alamsyah on Thursday, Sourabh was favourite against Kuncoro, but the Indonesian destroyed him 21-6 21-8.
Shortly after, Sourabh’s younger brother Sameer took on Gao Huan of China. He gave a good account of himself in the first game, but wilted in the second. Huan won 21-16 21-13. The last Indian in action on the day was Sai Praneeth, and he suffered the same fate that Sourabh and Sameer had. Chen Yuekun took 38 minutes to get past Praneeth in a 21-15 21-17 verdict.