Odense : Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal kept the Indian interest alive at Denmark Super Series by progressing to the quarterfinals even as Sourabh Varma shocked world number eight before exiting the men`s singles event, here today.
Returning to action after two months, Saina scored a comfortable 21-15 21-14 over Japanese world number 28 Minatsu Mitani in the second round in just 20 minutes.
The 22-year-old India will next take on the winner of other pre-quarterfinal match between qualifier Lok Yan Poon and fifth seed Tine Baun tomorrow.
Saina took time to be in her elements but once in her zone, she was hardly troubled by her opponent. The Indian was lagging behind in the first game initially but soon gathered her composure to nose ahead.
In the second game, the Indian opened up a 4-0 lead and extended it to 11-4 in no time. Mitani did well to reel off six straight points and move to 10-11. But after the break, Saina crafted her way to seal the issue.
Saina hit 27 smash winners in comparison to the 19 by her opponent. The Indian, who has beaten Mitani twice before, was also better at the nets.
Rising Indian shuttler Sourabh Varma lost 19-21 17-21 to Indonesia`s Sony Dwi Kuncoro in the second round after battling for 44 minutes.
He had come into this contest after upsetting world number eight and home favourite Peter Hoeg Gade in straight games last night.
The 19-year-old Indian had prevailed 21-18 21-14 against the sixth-seeded former All England champion in a contest lasting 42 minutes.