Friday, March 8, 2013

Saina, Kashyap enter All England quarterfinals

BIRMINGHAM, March 8, 2013 PTI

Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap continued their winning run to reach the quarterfinals of the All England Championship with contrasting victories in Birmingham.

World No. 3 Nehwal defeated Belaetrix Manuputi of Indonesia 21-16 21-11 in a 34-minute women's singles match at the National Indoor Arena. The 22-year-old will next take on sixth seed Chinese Shixian Wang later in the day.

London Olympics quarterfinalist Kashyap notched up a stunning 21-18 21-12 victory over world number six Kenichi Tago in the men's singles pre-quarterfinals. He had lost to the Japanese in the China Open in 2011.

The Commonwealth Games bronze-medallist Indian will next take on second seed Chen Long of China. The Indian had lost thrice to Long but in their most recent encounter at the Indonesia Open last year, the Kashyap had an upperhand.

However, it was curtains for young shuttlers P.V. Sindhu and Sourabh Verma, who went down in straight games to superior opponents in the pre-quarterfinals on Thursday night.

World No. 16 Sindhu suffered a 17-21 14-21 loss to fourth seed Juliane Schenk of Germany in a 39-minute women's singles match here, while World No. 43 Sourabh fought hard before going down 19-21 19-21 to number eight Vietnamese Tien Minh Nguyen.

The mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V. Diju too crashed out of the tournament after a 17-21 16-21 loss to Polish pair of Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba in the pre-quarterfinals.

In the women's singles match, Nehwal put her smashes to good use to outclass the Indonesian, who played well at the nets but didn't have enough strokes in her armoury to challenge the Indian.

After surging ahead with a 7-3 lead, Nehwal went into the breather at 11-7 but the Indonesian clawed back to make it 12-12. However, the Indian was unfazed and slowly marched ahead to pocket the first game.

In the second game, Nehwal was more dominating and was 11-2 up midway. After that, though Belaetrix tried her best, Nehwal didn't give much chance to her unfancied rival.

Up against Tago, Kashyap used his smashes with precision and tried to match the Japanese at the nets.

The Indian opened up a 6-3 lead initially and made it 11-10 lead at the break. Tago soon clawed back at 12-12 but Kashyap didn't allow him to get an upperhand to gain the bragging rights with a 1-0 lead.

In the second game, Kashyap was more dominating right from the start as after opening up a slim 4-3 lead, he kept widening the gap. Tago crumbled under pressure to eventually give Kashyap a comfortable win.
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