Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth produced yet another fine display to progress to the quarterfinal of the Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday. Saina, seeded seventh, took 39 minutes to tame Hong Kong’s Pui Yin Yip 21-14 21-16 in her second round women’s singles encounter.
The London Olympics bronze medallist will play second seed and 2017 world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the last-eight stage of the first Super 500 tournament of the year on Friday. World no. 9 Saina holds an 8-4 overall head-to-head record against Okuhara, which includes back-to-back wins over the current world no.2 in the last two tournaments — last year’s Demark Open and the French Open.
In men’s singles, Srikanth continued his unbeaten run with a hard-fought 23-21 8-21 21-18 win over Hong Kong’s Wong Wing Ki Vincent to set up a fight with fourth seeded Korean Son Wan Ho. The seventh seeded Indian, who had a title-less run last season, has a 4-5 head-to-head count against the Korean world no 5.
Former Commonwealth Games champion Parapulli Kashyap, however, bowed out of the tournament after his fight ended with a 17-21 23-25 loss to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia.
Women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also suffered a 18-21 17-21 loss to Indonesian combination of Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Rizki Amelia Pradipta.