Indonesia Open | Saina steamrolls into quarters, doubles campaign ends

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - Badminton Association of India

Indonesia Open | Saina steamrolls into quarters, doubles campaign ends

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Amlan Majumdar

06/02/2016

World No.8 Saina Nehwal progressed to the quarter-finals of the Indonesia Open on Thursday with a facile 21-11, 21-10 win over Fitriani Fitriani in Jakarta. The women’s doubles pair of Jwala-Ashwini bowed out in the second round, as did Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy in the men’s doubles.

Indian Superstar Saina Nehwal reached the last eight of the Indonesia Open after brushing past Fitriani Fitriani in 32 minutes at the Istora Senaya in Jakarta. The 2012 Olympic bronze medalist took a 3-0 lead over the home girl in the first game and made sure she maintained the lead. At 9-7, Saina took 6 unanswered points, racing away to 15-7 and virtually shutting Fitriani out. The second game followed in similar fashion. The Indian maintained a healthy lead and kept widening the gap at every opportunity, winning it 21-10.

The doubles department though didn’t have much to cheer about as both men’s and women’s pairs were knocked out of the SuperSeries tournament. Manu Attri/Sumeeth Reddy were up against 6th seeds KO Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol of Korea in the second round. The Indians couldn’t get the better of their higher-ranked opponents, going down 18-21, 13-21.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also went down 9-21, 18-21 to Huang Yaqiaong and Tang Jinhua of China in their second round encounter. The Indian pair conceded nine points at 3-1 to completely lose momentum and gave away the game easily. The second game was a more even encounter. Both pairs traded points and the lead before the Chinese took a two-point lead from 15-15. The Indians could not close the gap and eventually lost the game 18-21.

Meanwhile, Jonatan Christie brought reason to cheer for the home crowd as he downed two-time Olympic Champion Lin Dan 21-12, 21-12 in 36 minutes at the Istora Senaya. The Indonesian youngster proved why he is being touted as the next big thing with a clinical performance against the Chinese legend.

All eyes will be on the women’s singles matches tomorrow as India’s last hope in tournament Saina Nehwal takes on World No.1 Carolina Marin. The last meeting between the two at this venue ended in defeat for Saina. She lost the final of the World Championships 16-21, 19-21 then and would be keen to exact revenge.

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