All England Championships: Saina & Srikanth Enter Quarter-Finals
Saina will take on Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei while Srikanth will face world no 1 Kento Momota of Japan.
Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth had to toil hard to seal their places in the quarter-finals of the All England Championships in Birmingham on Thursday, 7 March.
While Saina rallied her way to a 8-21 21-16 21-13 win over Denmark's Line Højmark Kjaersfeldt in a 51-minute contest, seventh seed Srikanth recovered from a mid-game slump to register a 21-17 11-21 21-12 win over Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie, his first victory over the Indonesian in the last three meetings.
Eighth seeded Saina will take on her nemesis and two-time champion Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, an opponent who has defeated her in last 12 outings, while the 26-year-old Srikanth will face world number one Kento Momota of Japan, who had beaten the Indian five times last season.
A 2015 finalist, Saina was blown away by world no 19 Line in the opening game but the experienced campaigner kept her cool to take the match to the decider and eventually trump her Danish rival, in an encounter which lasted for 51 minutes.
In men's singles, former Singapore Open champion B Sai Praneeth's fight lasted just 35 minutes as he went down 12-21 17-21 to 24-year-old Ng Ka Long Angus, who had denied Sameer Verma a title win at the 2016 Hong Kong Super Series. It was his third loss to the World no 15 from Hong Kong.
On Wednesday, Srikanth had disposed off France's Brice Leverdez 21-13 21-11 in the opening round to set up a clash against Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie.
Sameer Verma, however, squandered a first game advantage to go down fighting 21-16 18-21 14-21 to former world champion and world no 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark to bow out of the tournament.
The women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy fought a gruelling battle before losing 21-16 26-28 16-21 to seventh seeded Japanese pair of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.
Sikki and Pranaav Jerry Chopra, who is coming back from an injury, lost 21-23 17-21 to Hong King's Chang Tak Ching and NG Wing Yung in the mixed doubles.
The men's doubles pair of Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy also lost 19-21 21-16 14-21 to the Chinese combination of Ou Xuanyi and Ren Xiangyu.
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