Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal cruised into the women’s singles quarterfinals of the USD 750,000 Indonesia Open Super Series even as India’s challenge ended in the women’s doubles event with the ouster of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, here today.
Saina, seeded eighth, had a relatively easy outing against Kirsty Gilmour as the Indian took just 36 minutes to sent her rival packing 21-17 21-9 to take a 3-0 career lead over the world no. 17 Scottish shuttler at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
But a Herculean task awaits Saina, the three-time winner here, in the next round as she takes on world no.1 Li Xuerui
of China tomorrow.
Saina has a 2-6 win-loss record against the top seeded reigning Olympic champion.
However, it was curtains for India in the women’s doubles event as the fancied pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa lost to South Korea’s Ye Na Jang and So Young Kim in the second round.
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The combination of Jwala and Ashwini fought hard before losing 21-16 15-21 21-12 in 45 minutes against their fifth seeded South Korean opponents.