P V Sindhu and Sameer Verma advanced to the quarter-finals with straight-game wins in their respective women’s and men’s singles preliminaries of the USD 600,000 Korea Super Series here today.
However, it was curtains for Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth — both of whom bowed out of the tournament after losing their second-round men’s singles matches.
Olympic silver-medallist Sindhu saw off Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol 22-20 21-17 to set up a clash with Japan’s Minatsu Mitani, who won a bronze medal at the 2014 World Championships and had also defeated Saina Nehwal in the finals to clinch the 2012 French Open title.
Hong Kong Super Series finalist and Syed Modi Grand Prix gold winner Sameer defeated Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent 21-19 21-13 in 41 minutes. He will need to raise his game by a few notches when he faces local hot favourite Son Wan Ho.
Son Wan, seeded top, had to dig deep to end Kashyap’s run. He battled for an hour and 16 minutes before getting the better of the Indian 21-16 17-21 21-16 to reach the last-eight stage.
Praneeth fought hard before going down 13-21 24-26 to seventh seeded Tzu Wei Wang of Chinese Taipei in a contest that lasted 40 minutes.
In men’s doubles, the Indian pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty prevailed 23-21 16-21 21-8 over the Chinese Taipei’s duo of Lee Jhe-Huei and Lee Yang in 51 minutes.
They will next take on the third-seeded Japanese combination of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda in the quarterfinal.
World No. 4 Sindhu, who clinched a maiden silver at Glasgow World Championship recently, had come into the match with a 1-1 record against Jindapol, who had beaten the Indian at Syed Modi International last year.
Sindhu had to battle hard in the opening game with World No. 16 Jindapol managing to grab a 9-7 and 13-10 lead but the Indian broke off at 14-16 with six straight points. The Thai shuttler drew parity before Sindhu closed the issue.
The second game was also a close contest with both the shuttlers locked in a duel till 8-8.
Sindhu moved ahead and grabbed a 12-9 lead and even though Jindapol managed to claw back at 15-15, Sindhu ensured that she had the last laugh.