Ace Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the World Badminton Championship in the singles events at the Emirates Arena on Thursday. London Olympics bronze medallist Saina, who had won a silver in the last edition has shown tremendous form in this tournament.
She dished out a gritty performance to outwit World No. 3 Korean Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 21-15. The match started with Sung Ji dictating the pace, running away to a 7-2 lead but Saina slowly began to exert her influence on the game, showing considerably more attacking verve than usual.
Whenever it seemed that Sung was having the upper hand, Saina fought back with a combination of excellent retrieving at the net and deceptive drop shots. There were quite a few lengthy rallies in the match, but Saina showed her fitness is perhaps back to the best it’s been since Rio Olympics but maybe even getting better as the match progressed. She will next play either Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour or China’s He Bingjiao.