Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal ends Akane Yamaguchi jinx
Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal ends Akane Yamaguchi jinxManne RatnakarSaina Nehwal was at her fluent best as she outclassed world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-15, 21-17 to move into the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament in Odense on Thursday. | TNN | Oct 19, 2018, 08:11 ISTSaina Nehwal. (TOI Photo)Saina Nehwal was at her fluent best as she outclassed world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-15, 21-17 to move into the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open BWF World Tour Super 750 tournament in Odense on Thursday.
This was Sainaâs first victory over the Japanese in four years. The last time Saina triumphed against Yamaguchi was in the Chi na Open back in 2014.
Sameer Verma also continued his good run and joined Saina in the quarterfinals along with the womenâs doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy. Extending his giant-killing run, Verma, who ousted world No.2 in the first round, accounted for Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie in the second. Verma registered a hard fought 23-21, 6-21, 22-20 victory against the Indonesian in the one hour-10 minute encounter. Verma will now square up against the winner of the match between Kidambi Srikanth and Lin Dan of China.
Unseeded pair of Ashwini and Sikki knocked out seventh seeded south Koreans Lee So Hee and Shing Seung Chan in three games 18-21, 22-20, 21-18.
Earlier, Saina eased past Yamaguchi in just 36 minutes. This is Sainaâs first victory against Yamaguchi since November 2014. The Indian ace lost to the Japanese shuttler six consecutive times before the Denmark meeting. A relieved Saina, who was struggling in major BWF events, told Badmin ton Europe that she was happy to break the jinx against Yamaguchi.
âI feel good and happy that I pulled out two tough matches. I performed well in Commonwealth Games winning gold and won bronze at Asian Games.
But was not being able to cross the first and second rounds in the Super Series. But I am happy that I could break that barrier and reach the quarters,â said Saina, adding that she played smartly on Thursday.
âI moved better today and played smartly. She plays a lot of tricky shots, so I am happy I did well to counter that,â she added.
Saina will face another Japanese, Nozomi Okuhara, on Friday. âNow, I have to play another difficult match,â she said.
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