Swiss Open: Birthday girl Saina, Sindhu, Prannoy through to quarters

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Swiss Open: Birthday girl Saina, Sindhu, Prannoy through to quarters

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Amlan Majumdar

03/18/2016

Saina Nehwal celebrated her birthday in style with a straight-sets win, while PV Sindhu and HS Prannoy also booked their places in the quarters of the Swiss Open on Thursday. But it was H S Prannoy who produced the performance of the day, as he ousted the higher-ranked Rajiv Ouseph 21-13, 21-18.

Saina Nehwal continued her redemption from the poor showing at the All England Championship as she cruised past Kristina Gavnholt with a 21-18, 21-17 win. After holding a 12-4 lead in the first game, Saina saw her opponent put up a spirited fight to make it 19-18. However, she held her nerve and raised her game when it mattered the most. Saina will take on her old adversary Sayaka Sato, currently World No 13, in her next game. The Indian star has dominated against Sato with four wins in their five encounters – the last of which came way back in 2012.

PV Sindhu won the first game with ease against Yu Po Pai, however in the second game she nearly let a huge lead slip from her hands. Sindhu was comfortably placed at 15-8 in the second game, but Pai won seven consecutive points to bring the game back to parity at 15-15. It served as a wake-up call for the Indian star, who stepped up her game and eventually won the match 21-16, 21-16. She will now face He Bingjiao, who defeated Sindhu in the Indonesian Masters last year.

HS Prannoy produced a stunning performance to defeat sixth-seeded Rajiv Ouseph 21-13, 21-18, and avenge the defeat against him in the All England Championship last year. While Prannoy dominated the first game, the second game turned out to be a tight affair. Rajiv had an 11-8 lead at one point, however Prannoy displayed tremendous grit and determination to fight back and win the game, and the match. The 13th seeded Indian will now face the 16th seeded Thai shuttler Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk in the next round.

Sai Praneeth missed a golden opportunity in the first game against second seeded Tien Chen Chou, as he lost the game 21-19 after taking a 19-15 lead. He failed to recover from this shock in the second game, which ended up being a very one-sided affair. Chen Chou won the match 21-19, 21-6 and knocked out the Indian.

Like Sai, Sameer Verma was knocked out by Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 15-21, 19-21 after losing both the games from winning positions. In the first game, Sameer had a 15-13 lead, before Tanongsak won eight points in a row, while in the second game, Sameer lost after leading 18-16 at one point.

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