Denmark Open: Saina, Srikanth to Play Quarter-Final Matches Today
- Kidambi Srikanth will be up against Sameer Verma in the quarter-final of the Denmark Open on Friday at 10:30 pm IST (tentatively).
- Saina Nehwal will take on Nozomi Okuhara in the quarter-final of the Denmark Open on Friday at 11:30 pm IST (tentatively).
- The matches will be broadcast on Star Sports 1.
Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal defeated World Number two Akane Yamaguchi of Japan for the first time in four years to enter the quarter-finals of the Denmark Open in Odense on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth too beat the legendary Lin Dan 18-21, 21-17, 21-16, to sail past the second-round clash. Srikanth has lost three of his four matches against Dan but the Chinese great is not the force he once was. The former world number one is now placed 14th in the international rankings.
The last time Sriknath beat Dan was in 2014 at the China Open.
Saina Takes Down World Number 2 Yamaguchi
Nehwal, an Olympic bronze-medallist who has dropped to World Number 27, registered an easy 21-15, 21-17 win over second-seeded Yamaguchi in the pre-quarterfinal match that lasted just 36 minutes.
The 28-year-old Indian will now take on World Number 3 and another Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in the quarter-finals on Friday.
This was Nehwal's second career win over Yamaguchi, who has won six times in the head-to-head encounters between the two.
Nehwal's first win against Yamaguchi came in 2014 during the China Open.
Since then, Yamaguchi has enjoyed the upper hand against the Indian. The earlier two meetings this year – Uber Cup in May and Malaysia Open in June – also went in Yamaguchi's favour.
Nehwal trailed 0-4 initially but she made a fine comeback to level the scores at 10-10. But from there, Nehwal showed tremendous resolve and reeled off five straight points to take a 15-10 lead and then widened it to 19-12.
Yamaguchi recovered a bit but Nehwal grabbed five game points at 20-15 and then easily pocketed the first game.
In the second game, it was Nehwal's turn to take the lead initially as she zoomed to 7-2 but Yamaguchi caught her up at 11-11.
After that, it was a close tussle between the two as they were locked 17-17.
At that stage, Nehwal cinched four points on the trot to win the second game and clinch the match.