Established stars Saina Nehwal and P V Sindhu marched into the women’s quarterfinals but all the top four seeds, including defending champion P Kashyap, crashed out of the men’s event in the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix.
The USD 120,000 tournament sprang to life when 16h seed Shubhakar Dey packed off second seed Ajay Jayaram 21-19 21-17 and then 12th seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli of Malaysia accounted for top seed Kashyap 21-16 21-12.
While the top two seeds struggled, third seed RMV Guru Sai Dutt and fourth seed Anand Pawar did put up a fight but
suffered a similar fate.
Pawar saved three game points in the first game but could not stop the march of Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin
as he lost 22-20 21-11.
Later in the day, 11th seed B Sai Praneeth rallied after losing the first game to get the better of Guru Sai Dutt 15-21
21-9 21-16 to advance to the quarterfinals.
He will now face Thailand Grand Prix Gold champion and sixth seed K Srikanth in the quarterfinals. Srikanth had to save four match points in the second game and then went on to waste four in the decider before getting the better of 14th seed Arvind Bhat 19-21 23-21 24-22 in an hour and 11 minutes.
In the women’s section, top seed Saina continued her march towards the season’s first title with a 21-5 21-10 victory over Russia’s Natalia Perminova in just 28 minutes to set up a quarterfinal clash against fifth seed Ballaetrix Manuputty of Indonesia.
Joining her in the last eight were, second seed P V Sindhu and Arundhati Pantawane. Sindhu defeated Sabrina Jaquet of Switzerland 21-19 21-5 in the pre-quarterfinals while Arundhati got the better of Thailand’s Natcha Saengchote 21-13 21-11.
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