Malaysia Open 2018: Day 3 Roundup, Saina bows out as she loses to Yamaguchi, Sindhu and Srikanth book quarterfinal berths
Ace shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were the stars of the day and progressed to the quarterfinals.
The Malaysian Open is a world tour super 750 tournament and will do the Indian shuttlers a lot of good (in terms of rankings) if they reach the final matches.
Former Olympic silver medallist Sindhu never let Malaysia's Lee Ying Ying settle in the game and eventually won the Round of 16 encounter 21-8, 21-14 in straight sets. She did not break a sweat in this match, however, a difficult challenge against Spaniard Carolina Marin awaits her in the quarterfinal. The 22-year-old will still fancy her chances as she boasts of a 5-6 head-to-head record against the former World Number 1.
Coming to the Men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth brushed aside the challenge of Wang Tzu Wei and clinched the win easily in just 36 minutes. The final scoreline stood at 22-20, 21-12 in favour of the Indian.
The 25-year-old will be tested to his limits on June 29, Friday, when he goes up against Brice Leverdez of France in the quarterfinal clash. However, Srikanth holds a good record against the French shuttler and had recently defeated him at the All England Championship -- so there is all to play for.
A little bad news for the Indian fans -- Saina Nehwal had to suffer an early exit in the competition. A win against Yip Pui Yin in the Round of 32 yesterday meant that Saina would have to face-off against World Number 2, Akane Yamaguchi in Round of 16. The former World Number 1 gave it her all against the Japanese player, however, it was Akane who got the better of her and won the tie 21-15, 21-13. The ace Indian shuttler has failed to defeat the exceptionally talented Akane since the 2014 China Open.
A massive prize pool of $49,000 is up for grabs for the winner in the singles category. Both Sindhu and Srikanth will be looking to edge closer to the final as they are just two wins away from it.
Do you think that PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth will be able to surpass the stern tests which await them in the quarterfinals? Do let us know in the comments section below.