Saina advances at Asian tourney

Wuhan (China): Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand in straight games in the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s singles category at the Asia Badminton Championship here on Thursday.

The fifth seeded Saina did not face too many problems with her Thai opponent as she carved out a comfortable 21-14, 21-18 win. She will now face Wang Shixian of China in the quarter-finals.

P.V. Sindhu, the other Indian in the fray, put up a strong fight against Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei before suffering a narrow 21-13, 20-22, 8-21 defeat in a match that lasted for an hour.

Sindhu started well by winning the opening game. She had a comfortable 12-6 lead in the second game as well before Tai produced a remarkable comeback. Tai equalised at 15-15 before Sindhu regained the lead at 20-19. But the Chinese Taipei shuttler held her nerves in the closing stages to clinch the second game and level the issue.

Tai then dominated the third and decisive game to take a well-deserved victory.