Jakarta: Defending champion Saina Nehwal today entered the quarterfinals of the Indonesian Super Series Premier after registering a comfortable straight-game victory over Sayaka Takahashi of Japan here.
R M V Gurusaidutt advanced to the quarterfinals of the men’s singles with a hard-fought win over Kazumasa Sakai of Japan, while it was curtains for Sourabh Varma. World number two Saina took 39 minutes to outplay her 24th ranked opponent 21-13 21-19 in a women’s singles second round match at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will take on Carolina Marin of Spain in the quarters. Saina, seeded second, relied on her smashes and superior net play to steer clear of her Japanese rival. The two started on equal footing and were tied till 6-6 before Saina surged ahead to open up a gap of six points.
The Japanese managed to clinch a few straight points to reduce the gap to 13-14 at one stage, but the Indian showed her class and easily wrapped up the first game 21-13. Takahashi got her act together in the second game as two rivals got engaged in a fierce battle. Tied at 12-12, the Japanese won three points on the trot to make it 15-12 and then succeeded in maintaining a slender lead over Saina.
But the higher ranked Indian battled on and turned the tables at 18-18 and eventually roared back into the contest. After an intense fight, Saina finally won the game and the match 21-19.
Gurusaidutt prevailed 21-12 9-21 21-19 over Sakai in a contest that lasted a little less than an hour. After a comfortable 12-21 win in the opening game, Gurusaidutt was completely outplayed by his opponent in the second game.
The deciding game was a see-saw battle and the scores were tied at 17-17 before the Indian upped the ante in time to advance to the next stage. Gurusaidutt will meet Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in the last-eight stage.
In another men’s singles match, Sourabh was thrashed by the third seeded Pengyu Du of China 16-21 6-21 in 37 minutes. India’s campaign ended in both mixed doubles and women’s doubles categories.
While the women’s double pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Pradnya Gadre lost 13-21 19-21 to local combo Anneke Feinya Agustin and Della Destiara Haris in little over half an hour, Ponnappa along with her mixed doubles partner Tarun Kona were handed a 14-21 21-17 13-21 defeat by Robert Mateusiak and Nadiezda Zieba of Poland in 42 minutes.