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Saina reaches quarterfinals of French Open

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After two successive defeats at Japan and Denmark, Saina Nehwal finally tamed Japanese Minatsu Mitani in straight games to reach the quarterfinals of the USD 275,000 French Super Series here.

The World No.2 emerged as the only surviving Indian at the tournament after compatriots H S Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram, and women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the second round yesterday.

Saina dished out a superb game to see off the World Championship bronze medallist Mitani 21-19 21-16 in a 41-minute women’s singles match to set up a fight with eight seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.

In men’s singles, NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong ended the run of Prannoy, who had beaten two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, with a 21-15 21-10 win against the Indian in the second round.

Two-time Dutch Open winner Jayaram too failed to cross the second round after suffering a 18-21 8-21 loss to Tian Houwei of China.

2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Jwala and Ashwini lost 15-21 18-21 to eight seeds Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek of Netherlands.