Badminton Asia Championships 2018: Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy enter quarters; Sai Praneeth exits
The Indian shuttlers enjoyed a decent day in Wuhan, China at the Badminton Asia Championships.
Both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu carried on their superb form in the second round as they made it to the quarterfinal of Women's Singles quite easily. In Men's Singles, Kidambi Srikanth hardly had to break a sweat to book his berth in the last 8 while HS Prannoy needed three games yet again to advance.
Saina, Sindhu storm into quarters
World No. 12 Saina continued from where she left off on Wednesday as she saw off Chinese shuttler Gao Fangjie, who had pulled off a huge upset in the first round by beating Nozomi Okuhara, in just 40 minutes. Fangjie fought hard in the first game, but in the second game, Saina was in her destructive best. Eventually, the scores read 21-18, 21-8 in favour of the 28-year-old Indian. The Commonwealth Games gold medallist will now fight for a place in the semis against Lee Jang Mi.
Sindhu, as well, did not face any difficulties in her second round match against Chen Xiaoxin of China. The World No. 3 -- who is one of the favourites to win the title, especially after the ouster of Okuhara and Ratchanok Intanon -- took just 44 minutes to beat Xiaoxin 21-12, 21-15. She will take on World No. 9 Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea in the quarters.
Srikanth, Prannoy book berths in last 8, Sai Praneeth exits
Kidambi Srikanth, who was the first Indian in action on Thursday in Wuhan, needed just four minutes to book a place in the quarters as his opponent Hong Kong's Wong Wing Ki Vincent retired at 2-7 in the first game. In the last 8, though, he will have a stiffer challenge.
The 25-year-old, who held the World No. 1 ranking for a week, will meet three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia. This will be their third meeting in one month. Srikanth had gotten the better of Lee in the final of the mixed team event at the Commonwealth Games but the Malaysian soon got his revenge in the Men's Singles.final.
HS Prannoy fought back from a game down to beat Chinese Taipei's Wang Tzu Wei 16-21, 21-14, 21-12. Having lost the first game, the World No. 10 showed great character to eke out a crucial win. However, a tougher challenge awaits him in the quarters where will meet second seed Son Wan Ho of Korea.
Meanwhile, B Sai Praneeth went down 12-21, 12-21 to World No. 3 Chen Long in just 39 minutes.
Doubles challenge ends
Arjun MR and Ramchandran Shlok, the young Men's Doubles pair, found the going tough as they were up against the top-seeded pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen from China. The duo gave a good fight in the second game but eventually, lost 11-21, 19-21.
Meghana Jakkapudi and Poorvisha S Ram, the only surviving pair in Women's Doubles, also could not match up to the strength of Thai pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajong, who are seeded seventh in the tournament. They lost out 9-21 9-21 in just 23 minutes.