Saina lone Indian in quarters


World no. 4 Saina Nehwal entered the quarter-finals of the women’s singles after posting a hard-fought victory over Eriko Hirose of Japan in the Singapore Super Series on Thursday.
However, all other Indians lost their respective second round matches.
Saina took little more than an hour to pack off the Japanese 16-21, 21-16, 21-9 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium. The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will next take on Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia in the last-eight stage.
For Saina and Eriko, it was a neck-and-neck battle till 14-14 before the Japanese girl opened up a slender two-point lead.
She then successfully managed to keep the Indian at bay by maintaining a healthy gap to wrap up the game.
Saina bounced back in the second game and surged ahead to 4-1 but Eriko clawed back with five straight points and opened up a 6-4 lead.
Thereafter, the game tilted from end to end and the two were tied at 12-12. Saina then successfully broke free and eventually moved up to 20-16 before taking the match to the decider. The third game was a cakewalk for Saina as her opponent ran out of steam to let the Indian register an easy win.
In the men’s singles meanwhile, Sai Praneeth B. went down fighting 11-21, 21-17, 16-21 to Wei Feng Chong of Malaysia in a second round match.
Praneeth, who had stunned world no. 6 Yun Hu of Hong Kong in his opening round match, could not repeat Wednesday’s performance as he lost in a contest that lasted 53 minutes.
India’s campaign also ended in both mixed doubles and men’s doubles events.

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