All England Championships: Saina Nehwal sets up quarter-final with Wang Yihan
Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal saw the singles draw open up for her on Thursday but the Indian must first overturn a Chinese hoodoo in the quarter-finals of the All-England Championships.
Birmingham: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal saw the singles draw open up for her on Thursday but the Indian must first overturn a Chinese hoodoo in the quarter-finals of the All-England Championships.
The third seed had to show speed, control and variation to see off Kim Hyo Min of Chinese Taipei 21-15 21-15 and set up a last-eight showdown with Wang Yihan, the 2009 winner.
"I was playing her for the first time and she had early shots that I just didn’t anticipate," Nehwal told reporters.
"No match is easy here and I will have to prepare well (against Wang). The girls are getting faster on court," added the 24-year-old who is bidding to become the first Indian female winner at the All-England.
The only time Nehwal has beaten Wang came via a retirement and the Chinese holds an 8-1 career lead.
A win for either player will open a path to Sunday`s final after Olympic champion Li Xuerui`s surprise defeat by compatriot Sun Yu.
Sun, the world number 18, triumphed 21-13 21-13 to secure a meeting with Thailand`s Ratchanok Intanon, the number eight seed.
"I still haven`t recovered from my foot injury," Li said. "I have only been in full training for two weeks but I came to this tournament because I love it and I never expected to win the title.
"I am disappointed but it`s not a major setback as I came here to enjoy it." World champion Carolina Marin of Spain remained on track for a first All-England title with a straight-games win over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.
In the men`s singles, defending champion Chen Long dispatched Chinese Taipei`s Jen Hao Hsu 21-7 21-9.