India Open Roundup | Saina and Sindhu set up dream quarterfinal clash; Sameer Verma advances

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India Open Roundup | Saina and Sindhu set up dream quarterfinal clash; Sameer Verma advances

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SportsCafe Desk

03/31/2017

PV Sindhu was given a run for her money by Japanese world No 87 Saena Kawakami before setting up a dream match against Saina Nehwal in the quarterfinals of the India Open Superseries in New Delhi. On a day when Indian shuttlers struggled, Sameer Verma managed to book a place in the last 8.

Saina and Sindhu managed contrasting victories and will meet later today. World No 5 Sindhu overcame a slow start and a 3-6 deficit before winning the first game 21-16. The second was a closely contested affair, with Olympic silver medallist Sindhu managing to keep her nerve to close it out at 23-21 and seal a spot in the quarters.

Earlier, Saina had a much more comfortable victory against Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand. The Indian sealed the deal 21-14, 21-12 in just 33 minutes. The Thai found world No 8 Saina’s power and precision too much to handle as she went down rather tamely.

However, it wasn’t all good news for the other Indians as world No 50 Rituparna Das found Olympic champion Carolina Marin too hot to handle, going down 13-21, 11-21.

Kidambi Srikanth also had a bad day at the office, losing 7-21, 12-21 to Danish world No 4 Viktor Axelsen. Srikanth, a former winner, never really got going and trailed 2-11 in the opening game at one stage.

It was a mixed day for the Verma family as Sourabh lost a close match to NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong. Angus held his nerve to take the first game 21-19 and Sourabh fought back with a vengeance to win the next 21-14, Angus stayed ahead when it mattered the most to eked out a 22-20 victory in the decider. Sameer advanced with a 21-17, 21-15 victory over Hu Yun of Hong Kong.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N.Sikki Reddy went down to Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai 15-21, 10-21, while Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy lost to EvjenjiDermin and Evgenia Dimova of Russia 18-21, 19-21.

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