New Delhi, March 31: India’s top badminton player Saina Nehwal and Sameer Verma on Thursday stormed into the quarterfinals in their respective singles events at India Open Super Series badminton tournament in New Delhi.
Notably, in the women’s section 2015 champion and 9th seed Saina Nehwal defeated Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong in straight games 21-14, 21-12 to enter the last eight stage. Saina continuously played aggressively throughout the game and put the pressure on her opponent, therefore she easily won both the sets. Interestingly, Saina will now face P.V Sindhu in the quarterfinal match.
On the other side in the men's section, Sameer Verma defeated higher-ranked Hun Yu of Hong Kong in straight games 21-17, 21-15 in 40 minutes. However, he is the lone Indian hope in men's singles competition. Sameer had beaten Hu Yun in last year’s All England Open to avenge the loss suffered in the Thailand Masters last February. He will now face Danish rival Anders Antonsen, ranked 26th.
Kidambi Srikanth was crashed out of the tournament after he went down to top-seeded Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in a match that lasted for 25 minutes. Srikanth was completely outplayed as he could not judge the flight and finally lost 7-21, 12-21.
Meanwhile, Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy in mixed doubles lost to the fourth-seeded Thai pair of Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanchai. India’s challenge also ended in the mixed doubles where a seventh seeded pair of Pranav Chopra and Sikki Reddy also lost to unseeded Russians Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova. Earlier, P.V Sindhu moving better than she did in the first round and defeated World No. 87 Saena Kawakami by 21-16, 23-21 in the match which lasted for 40 minutes.
Men: Sameer Verma bt Hu Yun (Hkg) 21-17, 21-15; 7-Chou Tien Chen (Tpe) bt B. Sai Praneeth 21-14, 21-16; 3-Victor Axelsen (Den) bt K. Srikanth 21-7, 21-12; 6-Ng Ka Long Angus (Hkg) bt Sourabh Verma 21-19, 14-21, 22-20.
Women: 3-P. V. Sindhu bt Saena Kawakami (Jpn) 21-16, 23-21; 6-Saina Nehwal bt Pornpawee Chochuwong (Tha) 21-10, 21-17; 1-Carolina Marin (Esp) bt Rituparna Das 21-13, 21-11.
Women's doubles: 4-Puttita Supajirakul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai (Tha) bt Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy 21-15, 21-10; 3-Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao (Jpn) bt Shruti Mundada and Anoushka Parikh 21-5, 21-10.
Mixed doubles: Evgenij Dremin and Evgenia Dimova (Rus) bt 7-Pranav Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy 21-18, 21-19.