It was a good day for Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth moved into the quarter-finals of Super 1000 All England Open Badminton Championships played at Birmingham on Thursday.
Saina Nehwal survived a scare before beating Denmark's Line Kjaersfeldt in three sets. It was a hard-fought win for the Indian, who looked quite edgy in the first game. Kjaersfeldt took first 2 points of the game and then dominated the Indian. At the interval, the Denmark player had a commanding lead, and continued to play aggressive badminton to win the first set 21-8.
The second game began on a much better note for Saina Nehwal, who played in her trademark aggressive style and took a 7-4 lead. The Dane player came back strongly to level the scores at 8-8. At the interval, Kjaersfeldt went into the break with 11-9 lead. After the interval, Saina Nehwal fought back brilliantly to take lead and continued her domination to win second set 21-16.
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In the third and deciding game, the Indian dominated the Denmark player right from the word go and never allowed Kjaersfeldt to comeback into the game. Nehwal went into the break with a 11-7 lead. After the interval, it was a dominating performance by the Indian, who won third set 21-13 to move into the quarter-finals. She will take on the winner of Tai Tzu Ying and Zhang Biewen in the quarter-finals.
Kidambi Srikanth, on the other hand, defeated Jonathan Christie in three sets to move into the quarter finals. It was a great start for the Indian as he took a 5-0 lead in the first game. Srikanth improved his stroke play and created pressure on the Indonesian with his powerful shots. At the interval, the Indian had a decent lead. After the interval, Jonathan Christie fought back well, but Srikanth held his nerves to win the first set 21-17.
In the second game, Srikanth's fortune changed, as he committed a lot of unforced errors. Jonathan Christie took advantage and controlled the game. The Indonesian won the second set 21-11 to force the match into the decider.
Kidambi Srikanth dominated the Indonesian player in the third game. At the interval, the Indian had a 11-4 lead. After the interval, Srikanth continued his aggressive gameplay and won the third set 21-13 to move into the quarter-finals. He will take on Japan's Kento Momota in the quarters.
It was curtains for Sai Praneeth though, as he lost to Angus Ng Ka Long in two straight games. The Hong Kong player dominated the Indian, winning it 21-12, 21-17 to move into the quarter-finals.
Thus, only two Indians are left in the competition. Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth would be hoping to perform well in their respective quarter-finals.