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Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu enter quarterfinals of Malaysia Open


Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu continued their winning run at the Malaysia Open, notching up contrasting victories to reach the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition at the $550,000 Super Series Premier tournament at Malaysia Thursday.

After Sindhu edged out Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, seeded seventh, 22-20 21-17 in a 47-minute clash, Saina brushed aside another Korean Bae Yeon Ju 21-10 21-16 in a match that lasted a little over half an hour.

The two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu had lost to Sung Ji at Hyderabad during the Asian badminton Championship team event but today avenged the loss and took her head-to-head record against the Korean to 5-3.

The 20-year-old from Hyderabad will next meet former World Champion and two-time India Open winner Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, while Saina has set up a meeting with Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk, who stunned All England champion Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, seeded 8th, 21-12 22-20.

Olympic bronze medallist Saina, seeded third, stamped her authority on the second round clash against Bae as she reached a 11-3 lead at the interval in both the games and didn’t give much chance to her opponent to make a comeback.

Saina has now beaten the Korean nine times in 13 meetings.

Sindhu almost blew away a 9-6 and 20-18 lead in the opening game before managing to surpass Sung Ji and earn the bragging rights.

In the second game, she fought back from 6-8 down to finally break off at 15-15 with five straight points, reaching 20-15. The Korean saved two match points before Sindhu sealed off the issue.

Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China, seeded second, 14-21 21-18 21-1 in another second round match. Interestingly, Li had reached the finals at India Open last week.

Among others, World No. 1 Carolina Marin, Chinese duo of Wang Shixian and Wang Yihan also reached the last eight.

In men’s singles, India Open champion Japan’s Kento Momota gave a walkover to 2010 Commonwealth silver medallist Rajiv Ouseph of England.

Second seed Lee Chong Wei, China’s Lin Dan, seeded 4th, Denmark duo of Viktor Axelsen, seeded 6th, and Jan O Jorgensen, fifth seed, also won their respective matches and reached the quarterfinals.

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