Third seed Saina Nehwal eased into the women’s singles badminton quarterfinals at the All England Championships with a convincing win over South Korean qualifier Kim Hyo Min.
However, top Indian women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa crashed out of the prestigious event with a straight-game defeat against top seeded Chinese duo of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei in the second round.
World No.3 Saina, who breezed past Indonesia’s Bellaetrix Manuputty in the opening round yesterday, beat 48th-ranked Kim 21-15 21-15 in their first ever meeting. Saina next faces her nemesis Wang Yihan, who enjoys a 8-1 head-to-head lead over the Hyderabadi.
Earlier, Gutta and Ponnappa lost 10-21 13-21 to their formidable Chinese opponents in a 36-minute second round contest. H S Prannoy eked out a 16-21 21-8 21-18 win over France’s Brice Leverdez. He faces England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the second round.
There was heartbreak for World No.5 K Srikanth and Ajay Jayaram as they failed to cross the first hurdle. While fourth seed Srikanth lost to Kento Momota of Japan 18-21 21-12 15-21 in an hour and six minutes match, Jayaram too fell by the wayside, losing to China’s Tian Houwei 14-21 21-19 14-21.
P Kashyap had already crashed out in the first round,while men’s doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy registered a stunning win over seventh seeds Chai Biao and Hong Wei of China.