All England badminton championship: Saina enters the quarterfinals

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End of the road for Sai Praneeth, Sameer and other Indians

Saina Nehwal bounced back to overcome Denmark’s Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt in three games and make the quarterfinals of the All England Championship badminton championships here on Thursday.

The eighth-seeded Indian, who had taken out Scotland’s Kristy Gilmour 21-17, 21-18 in the first round, won 8-21, 21-16, 21-13 in 51 minutes.

Earlier, B. Sai Praneeth crashed out of the tournament following a 21-12, 21-17 loss to NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile on Wednesday night, K. Srikanth also made a winning start by notching up a straight-game win. The Indian took half an hour to dispose off France’s Brice Leverdez 21-13, 21-11.

“I really enjoy it a lot, it’s something every player looks up to and the challenge is even more tougher than regular Super Series events,” said Saina after her win over Gilmour.

Sameer Verma squandered a first game advantage to go down fighting 16-21, 21-18, 21-14 to former World champion and World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark.

Lin Dan exits

In two big exits not involving Indians, China’s Lin Dan and Chen Long crashed in the first round. Lin, a six-time winner, fell to a 19-21, 21-14, 21-7 defeat against Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama, while Olympic champion and two-time winner Chen crashed out 21-15, 21-17 to Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke.

The results: Men: Second round: NG Ka Long Angus (HK) bt B. Sai Praneeth 21-12, 21-17. First round: Viktor Axelsen (Den) bt Sameer Verma 16-21, 21-18, 21-14; K. Srikanth bt Brice Leverdez (Fra) 21-13, 21-11.

Doubles: Ou Xuanyi & Ren Xiangyu (Chn) bt Manu Attri & B. Sumeeth Reddy 21-19, 16-21, 21-14.

Women: Second round: Saina Nehwal bt Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt (Den) 8-21, 21-16, 21-13. First round: Saina bt Kristy Gilmour (Sco) 21-17, 21-18.

Doubles: Shiho Tanaka & Koharu Yonemoto (Jpn) bt Ashwini Ponappa & N. Sikki Reddy 16-21, 28-26, 21-16.

Mixed doubles: Chang Tak Ching & NG Wing Yung (HK) bt Sikki & Pranaav Jerry Chopra 23-21, 21-17.

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