Vastavam web: India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal sailed into the women’s singles quarterfinals but another medal hope, Kidambi Srikanth, crashed out out of the World Championships after suffering a straight-game loss here today.Saina, who had clinched a silver and a bronze at the 2015 and 2017 editions, downed 2013 champion Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 21-16 21-19 to set up a meeting with Olympic champion and two-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa also stood one step away from a medal after pulling off a stunning 20-22 21-14 21-6 victory over the Malaysian world no.7 combination of Goh Soon Huat and Shevon Jemie Lai.”I had my chances but couldn’t keep the shuttle in. Too many smashes out, too many mistakes. I should have handled it much better,” said Srikanth.
Saina showed amazing retrieving skills against Inthanon, who is on a comeback trail after recovering from an injury.”It is a very good win. She is known for a deceptive game. Second game was going my way, but suddenly she played some difficult strokes, she was everywhere and made it 19-19. At that point, Gopi sir played a big role. He told me what to do and I followed that and the game turned in my favour,” Saina said.
“Pressure is less on me now because the last few tournaments I haven’t been able to cross the quarterfinals but I have played well at the Commonwealth Games and Asian Championship. But I can see that the form sometimes goes here and there but I am happy it is coming back in important events.” Earlier, Ashwini and Satwik showed great composure as they recovered from a game down to prevail over their higher ranked opponents.
It was an even battle in the opening game where the Malaysian pair managed an 11-8 lead at the break and though Ashwini and Satwik clawed back at 14-14 and even held a slender 18-16 lead at one stage, their rivals were more composed to pocket the game.In the second game, Goh and Shevon opened up a 5-2 lead but this time Ashwini and Satwik drew parity at 9-9 and then broke off to bounce back into the contest.