There were a couple of comebacks and an easy win as India placed three players in the quarter-finals of the singles event of the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow on Thursday. While Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu had to battle hard in their games in women’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth cruised in the men’s singles competition.
Nehwal was up against world number two Sung Ji Kyun of Korea and she had to come back in both games before beating her 21-19 21-15. She will play Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour in the quarterfinals.
Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi. She lost the first game, allowed her opponent to comeback from 17-20 before sealing the match in the third game. In a match that lasted 87 minutes, Sindhu prevailed 19-21 23-21 21-17. She will face fifth seed Sun Yu of China next.
In the men’s singles, Srikanth did not have to put that much effort and he eased into the quarterfinals. He advanced in straight sets with a win over Denmark’s Anders Antonsen. The Indian, who won 21-14 21-18, will clash with top seed and World No. 1 Korean Son Wan Ho.
“It was a good game today. There were some intense rallies and I am happy for the win,” Srikanth told PTI. “It will be a tough match but I have been improving with each match and looking forward for a good game tomorrow,” Srikanth added.
Srikanth and Wan Ho are tied 4-4 in their head-to-head record with the Indian’s recent victories coming in Indonesia and Singapore.
Two more Indian singles player were playing their quarter-finals but crashed out after contrasting defeats. B Sai Praneeth looked good to advance before falling 21-19 10-21 12-21 against world number four Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei.
In the other game, Ajay Jayaram was schooled by Olympic champion Chen Long of China. The Indian lost 11-21 10-21 in 41 minutes to crash out of the tournament.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand said: “So far it has really been a very good performance and I am very pleased with the players. We did lose couple of close doubles matches that could have our way but overall it has been satisfying.”