PV Sindhu, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty booked their place in the quarter-finals of the Badminton Asia Championships as Sania Nehwal crashed out
Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu advanced to the quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Championships after beating lowly-ranked Yue Yann Jaslyn Hooi of Singapore in straight games in the women’s singles competition here on Thursday
Indian men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also made it to the quarterfinals but it was curtains for London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal.
Sindhu, seeded fourth, who had claimed a bronze in the 2014 Gimcheon edition, defeated Jaslyn Hooi, ranked 100th, 21-16 21-16 in 42 minutes to set up a clash with third seed Chinese He Bing Jiao, whom she had beaten for a bronze at the Tokyo Olympics.
World number 7 Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, has a 7-9 head-to-head record against Bing Jiao, whom she has beaten twice in the last two meetings.
The third seeded Indian pairing of Satwik and Chirag too produced a fine performance to sail into the last 8 with a 21-17 21-15 win over Japan’s Akira Koga and Taichi Saito.
The world number 7 Indian pairing will face next either fifth seeded Malaysian Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik or the Singaporean duo of Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Jun Liang Andy Kwek.
However, Saina’s dream of claiming her fourth medal in the prestigious tournament ended after she ran out of steam to eventually lose 21-12 7-21 13-21 to 22-year-old Chinese Wang Zhi Yi, ranked 16th in the world.
Saina is on a comeback trail after recovering from some nagging injuries and had skipped the selection trials for the upcoming major events such as Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Uber Cup.
Earlier, despite the huge difference in their rankings, it was a tight battle for supremacy between Sindhu and Jaslyn Hooi.
At one stage, the Indian was two-point behind at 7-9 against her opponent, who managed to take a slender 11-10 lead at the interval but Sindhu stepped up and levelled 16-16 before pocketing the opening game.
The Indian managed to move to a 12-8 advantage in the second game after an initial fight following a change of sides.
The Singaporean erased the deficit, coming as close as 15-16, before Sindhu once again stepped on the gas to shut the match.