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Saina, Kashyap enter All England quarterfinals

BADMINTON-CHN

Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap entered the quarterfinals of the All England Open, but all the other Indians fell in the second round.

Nehwal had little trouble in negotiating Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia, as she cruised to a 21-16 21-11 win to book a quarterfinal place against old rival Wang Shixian of China. Shixian was also untroubled by compatriot Jiang Yanjiao, and the quarterfinal is likely to be a close encounter, with Nehwal the favourite.

While Nehwal progressed without much ado, PV Sindhu wasn’t as fortunate as she ran into the formidable Juliane Schenk of Germany. Sindhu was combative in the first game, but her challenge gradually withered under the pace and pressure of Schenk, who triumphed 21-17 21-14. The quarterfinals are as follows: Nehwal vs Wang Shixian; Juliane Schenk vs Ratchanok Intanon; Lindaweni Fanetri (Indonesia) vs Tine Baun (Denmark) and Eriko Hirose (Japan) vs Sung Ji Hyun (Korea).

BADMINTON-CHN-OPENP Kashyap was impressive in his straight-game demolition of seventh seed Kenichi Tago of Japan. The first game was a close battle, with both going neck and neck until Kashyap opened up a 18-15 lead. Tago equalised, but the Indian ran away with the next three points to go a game up.

It was all Kashyap in the second. He powered from 10-3 to 18-9 and 21-12, closing out the match in just 37 minutes. Kashyap takes on second seed Chen Long (China), and is capable of an upset as he had beaten Long during the Indonesia Open last year.

Earlier, Sourabh Verma, who had come through qualifying and survived a three-set encounter in his first round, finally ran out of steam against Vietnam veteran Nguyen Tien Minh. The Indian had his chances, but failed to capitalise as he lost 21-19 21-19.

Mixed doubles combo V Diju/Jwala Gutta too failed to progress, as they ran into eighth seeds Robert Mateusiak/Nadiezda Zieba (Poland) 21-17 21-16.

Most of the favoured players in men’s singles, except fourth seed Sony Dwi Kucoro of Indonesia, made it to the quarterfinals. Lee Chong Wei was able to quell Wang Zhengming’s challenge in straight games, 21-17 21-19, and will take on Nguyen Tien Minh. The other quarterfinals are: Tommy Sugiarto (Ina) vs Tanongsak S (Tha); Chen Jin (Chn) vs Jan O Jorgensen (Den); and P Kashyap (Ind) vs Chen Long (Chn).

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