In a thrilling day for Indian badminton, four shuttlers — PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Sai Praneeth, all won their respective singles matches to advance to the quarterfinals of the USD 750,000 Australian Open Super Series on Friday.
Srikanth and Sai Praneeth register hard-fought wins in their second round matches to set up an all-Indian men’s singles quarterfinal clash. Meanwhile, Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu also reached the quarters with a comprehensive straight game victory over China’s Chen Xianoxin in the women’s singles competition while Olympic bronze medallist overcame Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah to book her place in the last eight.
Srikanth, who had stunned Son Wan Ho in the semifinals of Indonesia Open Super Series last week, once again produced a fantastic display to get the better of the World No.1 South Korean, beating him 15-21, 21-13, 21-13 in a 57-minute match.
Meanwhile, Saina got the better of Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah 21-15, 20-22, 21-14 to seal a quarter-final berth. Saina won the first game comprehensively before losing the second game that went right down to the wire however, came back strongly in the third game where she dominated the proceedings right from the beginning.
In another match, Sai Praneeth staved off a challenge from China’s Huang Yuxiang 21-15, 18-21, 21-13 in a match that lasted 64 minutes.
Interestingly, Srikanth and Praneeth had clashed in the final of Singapore Open in April with the latter emerging victorious.
In the women’s singles, fifth seed Sindhu outplayed Chen 21-13, 21-18 in 46 minutes. The Indian star will now either face Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon or World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
In the women’s doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy fought well before suffering a 21-18, 18-21, 13-21 loss to seventh-seeded Japanese pair of Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto.
The men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty suffered a 16-21, 18-21 loss to eighth seeded Chinese Taipei’s Chen Hung Ling and Wang Chi-Lin.