Saina, Srikanth, Praneeth advance; Ashwini-Sikki lose at Badminton Worlds

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Glasgow, Aug 23 (IANS) Olympic 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal, B. Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the third round, while the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy lost in the second round of the World Badminton Championships here on Wednesday.

Saina, seeded 12th, took only 33 minutes to dismantle the unseeded Swiss Sabrina Jaquet and register a facile 21-11, 21-12 victory in the women’s singles second-round clash.

“It was a tricky match I felt. Sabrina is a formidable opponent but I am happy that I overpowered her nicely in the match,” Saina said after the match.

“We have very good players representing the country this year and wish to see everyone perform well in the tournament,” she added.

The Hyderabadi, a 2015 edition runner-up, had got a bye in her first round.

In the pre-quarterfinals, Saina will meet South Korean second seed Sung ji Hyun, who brushed aside unseeded Indian Tanvi Lad 21-9, 21-19.

In a women’s doubles match, the unseeded Indian combine of Ashwini and Sikki lost to Denmark second seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen 22-24, 21-17, 15-21 in an hour and 15 minutes.

In the men’s singles, Srikanth outplayed Lucas Corvee of France 21-9 21-17 in 32 minutes to advance. The Guntur player will now take on 14th seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark.

Praneeth, meanwhile, battled hard to get past Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting 14-21, 21-18, 21-19 in an hour and 12 minutes.

“It was a very tough match and even though I played well, I must admit that I had luck on my side today. I am very thrilled with the outcome and the victory will for sure give me a lot of confidence going ahead in the tournament,” Praneeth said after the match.

“I was getting caught initially as the shuttle speed was very slow and he was playing very fast. I could not match him initially but slowly adjusted to his speed. He is a tough player and his game has improved a lot since I last played him. I am really happy to win and now I am focused on my next match.

“I am going through the best phase of my career and I am confident that if I could continue the way I have been playing, I would do very well in the tournament,” he added.

Praneeth will face the winner between German Marc Zwiebler and Chinese Taipei sixth seed Chou Tien Chen.

–IANS

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