Shuttlers Saina, Sindhu advance at Malaysia Open

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Shah Alam (Malaysia), April 7 (IANS) Star Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu registered contrasting victories to enter the women’s singles quarter-finals at the Malaysia Open here on Thursday.

Saina hardly broke sweat as she outclassed Bae Yeon Ju of South Korea 21-10, 21-16 in a match that lasted a little over half an hour.

Sindhu, on the other hand, was made to work hard before carving out a 22-20, 21-17 win over seventh seed Sung Ji Hyun — also of South Korea — in a 47-minute pre-quarterfinal clash at the $5,50,000 Super Series Premier tournament.

The third-seeded Saina was off to a flying start in the opening game, opening up a 5-0 lead. She increased her lead to 11-3 by the interval before closing out the game with ease.

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The Indian was leading 11-3 by the interval of the second game as well. Although the Korean tried to stage a comeback and outscored her after the interval, it was not enough to deny Saina.

Saina has now beaten the Korean nine times in 13 meetings.

Sindhu faced a strong challenge from Sung Ji Hyun. The opening was closely fought before Sindhu managed to take a 9-6 lead a little before the interval. The Korean however, fought back to get back on level terms.

It continued to be a neck to neck affair. Although Sindhu managed to take the lead again at 20-18, Sung fought back to level the scores at 20-20. But the Indian clinched back to back points to take the game.

In the second game, Sindhu fought back from a 6-8 deficit to equalise at 15-15. She then scored five consecutive points to take a comfortable 20-15 lead. The Korean saved two match points before Sindhu sealed off the issue.

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