What's the story?
In the Round 1 of Malaysia Masters 2020, Saina eased passed Belgium's Lianne Tan.
On Day 3 of the Super 500 tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Saina squared off against 8th seed An Se Young in her Round 2 match.
Meanwhile, Sameer Verma was set up against Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia in his Round 2 encounter.
The heart of the matter
The first set played out between Saina and her South Korean opponent was an intense one. Initially, Saina took a 5-point lead but Young clawed her way back in the game in commendable fashion. Eventually, Saina won the well-fought first set 25-23. She made light work of World Number 9 An Se Young in the 2nd set to win 21-12 and clinch the victory in 39 minutes. This marks 29-year-old Saina's first victory against the South Korean shuttler.
Saina seemed at her best in the match and showed terrific movement on the court. Her brilliant net play helped her in outclassing her opponent.
Next up, the London Olympics Bronze medallist will face Spain's Carolina Marin in the quarters. Just like Saina, Marin defeated her opponents in Round 1 and Round 2 in straight games. The 26-year-old Spaniard is currently ranked 10th while India's Saina is ranked 11th.
When it comes to Head to Head clashes, both are tied with 6 victories each. Saina won last time they clashed at the Indonesia Masters final in 2019. However, Marin had retired hurt in that match. The match between Saina and the Olympic gold medallist promises to be an interesting one.
Coming over to the Men's singles category, Sameer Verma lost 19-20 20-22 to Lee Zii Jia in an intense encounter. The lower-ranked Sameer gave a tough fight to the World Number 14 shuttler in a scintillating duel which lasted 52 minutes but could not force a win.
So far on Day 3, the results have been mixed as far as the Indian contingent is concerned. HS Prannoy will be taking on top seed Kento Momota while 6th seed PV Sindhu will lock horns with Japan's Aya Ahori in their respective Round 2 matches.Published 09 Jan 2020, 15:06 IST