Saina Nehwal reaches Denmark Open quarterfinal, Twitter showers her with praise
After PV Sindhu's first round exit, the remaining Indian contingent managed to advance to the third round at the Denmark Open. The likes of Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy and Kidambi Srikanth won their respective matches to keep the Indian hopes alive.
Nehwal was facing Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol in her second round match, and it promised to be a tough one.
Although Saina had won seven of their eight clashes, Jindapol had defeated her in Indonesia earlier this year. But the Indian got her revenge, prevailing 22-20, 21-13 to storm into the quarterfinals.
Prannoy notched up a 64-minute 21-17, 11-21, 21-19 victory over the No. 7 seed Lee Chong Wei. Wei would have wanted to avenge his straight-games loss to the Indian in the first round of the Indonesia Open in June this year, but that was not to be.
Srikanth narrowly squeaked past South Korea’s Jeon Hyeok Jin by a 21-13, 8-21, 21-18 margin in extremely trying playing conditions. The cross-drift in the hall made shuttle control virtually impossible from one side.
Further complicating issues was a 50-minute long failure of the lights on Court No. 3, on which the match was being played. All of that must have wreaked havoc with the concentration of both the players, and it is to Srikanth's credit that he managed to keep his composure.
Nehwal will now face Japan’s diminutive Akane Yamaguchi on Friday. Yamaguchi is ranked fourth on the Badminton World Federation (BWF) charts. The two have clashed on two previous occasions, and the score stands level at 1-1 - with the stocky, strongly-built Yamaguchi winning their most recent encounter, at the Malaysia Open in April this year.
Meanwhile, Prannoy will cross swords with South Korea’s top seeded Son Wan Ho, while Srikanth will meet recently crowned world champion Viktor Axelsen of the host nation, in what will be a repeat of their Japan Open quarter-final from last month.
Here is how Twitter reacted to Saina's win.