Malaysia Masters 2019: Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth enter quarter-finals
Indian shuttlers had mixed fortunes on Day 3 of the Malaysia Masters 2019 in Kuala Lumpur as Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth made it to the quarter-finals but Parupalli Kashyap and the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy crashed out.
A day after struggling for most of her first round match, seventh seed Saina Nehwal did not make any mistake this time and easily sailed into the last eight with a 21-14, 21-16 win over World No. 34 Yip Pui Yin.
Up next for the former champion at this Super 500 tournament is the second seed Nozomi Okuhara in a tough quarter-final. Saina beat the Japanese in their last two meetings although both of those went the distance.
Nehwal is the only Indian in the women’s singles draw as PV Sindhu has opted to rest this week.
In men’s singles, seventh seed Kidambi Srikanth was made to work hard by World No. 38 Wong Wing Ki Vincent, the very man who ended his Asian Games campaign. After grabbing a close first game, Srikanth was completely outplayed in the second game but the Indian managed to rebound strongly in the decider to get a 23-21, 8-21, 21-18 win in 1 hour 4 minutes.
In a blockbuster quarter-final battle between two former World No. 1s, Srikanth takes on fourth seed Son Wan Ho just a few days after beating the Korean at the Premier Badminton League Season 4.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parupalli Kashyap showed a lot of resolve in winning three matches at this tournament. Having come through the qualifiers, he had upset the World No. 20 Rasmus Gemke in his main draw first round match on Wednesday.
But sixth seed Anthony Sinisuka Ginting proved too strong for him even though the 32-year-old showed glimpses of his fighting spirit in a 17-21, 23-25 loss.
Ponnappa and Reddy, meanwhile, bowed out 18-21, 17-21 to the Indonesian combine of Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Rizki Amelia Pradipta.