Saina overcomes Kristina challenge to reach Swiss Open quarters

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Basel, Mar 18 (ANI): Top seed Saina Nehwal has progressed through to the quarterfinals of the USD 120,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament after trouncing a gritty Kristina Gavnholt of Czech Republic in the women’s singles event in Basel.

The ace Indian shuttler, who turned 26 on Thursday, claimed a 21-18, 21-17 win over Kristina in a contest that lasted 34 minutes on Thursday night. She will next face Japanese seventh seed Sayaka Sato for a semifinal berth.

On Thursday, Saina dropped three places to sixth in the latest BWF world rankings following a quarterfinal loss at the All England Championship.

She battled through injuries last year and had to miss out on a few tournaments this season, including the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold and South Asian Games.

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Meanwhile, compatriot P.V Sindhu also booked her place in the quarterfinals of the tournament after brushing aside Pai Yu Po of Chinese Taipei in the women’s singles event earlier in the day. (ANI)

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