Indian campaign at the ongoing Australian Badminton Open suffered a jolt on Thursday, with two huge losses coming in the afternoon session of play of the pre-quarter-finals. It was however Saina Nehwal, who stabilised the Indian ship to ensure that the Indian shuttlers still remained in the fray in the tournament.
Ponnappa and Gutta No Match for Indonesian Shuttlers
First, leading Indian doubles’ pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta lost to the fourth seeded Indonesian team of Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii. The duo lost in straight games 14-21, 10-21 in 33 minutes. Maheswari and Polii will now take on the sixth seeded Chinese pair of Jinhua Tang and Qing Tian in the last eight. The Chinese team defeated Lok Yan Poon and Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong in their pre-quarter-final match.
Kidambi Srikanth’s Tame Surrender to Houwei Tian
In the men’s singles pre-quarter-final, fourth seeded Kidambi Srikanth lost in three tight games to Houwei Tian of China in 68 minutes. Srikanth won the first game 21-18, but lost the next two 17-21 and 13-21 to give his opponent the victory and a move into the quarter-finals. Tian will now play England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the quarter-finals, after the latter upset seventh seed Tien Chen Chou of Taiwan in their second round match.
Saina Nehwal to the Rescue
World no. 2 Saina Nehwal needed three games to overcome her opponent, Sun Yu of China in their second round match. Nehwal narrowly edged out the first game 21-19, but lost the second by the same margin (19-21). In the third game, the Chinese player was thoroughly routed by the Indian who won the game comfortably, 21-13 to reach the last eight in 78 minutes. Nehwal will take on fifth seed Shixian Wang of China, who defeated Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand.
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