Saina sails to quarters; Jwala-Ashwini, Manu-Sumeeth lose

Jakarta: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal once again emerged as the lone Indian survivor at the Indonesia Open after registering a straight-game win over local favourite Fitriani Fitriani to reach the quarterfinals of the Super Series Premier event here today.

Three-time champion, Saina prevailed over World No. 53 Fitriani 21-11 21-10 in a match that lasted 32 minutes in the second round of women’s singles competition here.

Eight seed Saina, who had won the title in 2009, 2010 and 2012, is likely to take on top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the last eight here.

However, it was the end of the roads for Rio-bound women’s doubles and men’s doubles pairs of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, and Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy after they suffered contrasting defeats at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium earlier today.

While 2010 Commonwealth Games champions Jwala and Ashwini lost 9-21 18-21 to Chinese combo of Huang Yaqiong and Tang Jinhua in women’s doubles, World No. 20 Manu and Sumeeth went down 18-21 13-21 to sixth seeded Korean Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol.

Saina, who had beaten Fitriani at the Badminton Asia Championships in April this year, dished out a dominating game which the Indonesian had no clue.

In the opening game, Saina moved to a 9-7 lead and then raced to 14-7 with six consecutive points. The Indian kept marching ahead and soon pocketed the game to earn the bragging rights.

In the second game, Saina came out with all cylinders blazing as she zoomed to a 10-3 lead and then continued her rampaging run even as Fitriani’s game crumbled.