Australian Open | Saina, Srikanth sail into quarterfinals

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Australian Open | Saina, Srikanth sail into quarterfinals

Seventh seed Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth sailed into the quarterfinals of the Australian Open Superseries with straight-set victories over their opponents. However, Tanvi Lad and young gun Sameer Verma lost their encounters with Verma losing a tight battle that went to the death.

Saina won her encounter in emphatic fashion with a 21-12, 21-14 scoreline against Goh Jin Wei. However, she has a tough battle ahead as she is slotted in the quarterfinal against World No. 4 Ratchanok Intanon, who has been in sizzling form with back-to-back championship wins in the India Open, the Malaysia Open, and the Singapore Open. Intanon also defeated Saina in the Uber Cup last month although Saina still holds a slim lead in the head-to-head at 6-5.

Kidambi Srikanth ousted World No. 29 Sony Kuncoro again in straight-sets, although the first set was a close affair until 16-16. Srikanth then pulled ahead and won it 21-19. Kuncoro did not put up much of a fight in the second and lost it 12-21. Srikanth will face Kwang Hee Heo in the quarterfinal tomorrow.

However, Tanvi Lad lost the battle against fourth seed Wang Yihan in straight-sets – she put up a good fight in the first set scoring 18 points. But, a dispirited display saw her lose the second after scoring only six points.  Former junior national champion Sameer Verma also lost his encounter to Anthony Ginting in a close three-setter. Sameer won the first set comfortably at 21-11, but Ginting pulled back to drub the Indian in the second allowing only 7 points. Sameer went all the way in the final set until 19-20 but lost eventually to bow out of the tournament.

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