Saina sails to quarters of Japan Open, others disappoint
New Delhi: Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal emerged as the lone survivor for India at the Japan Open, defeating Mingtian Fu of Singapore in straight-games to reach the quarterfinals of the women`s singles competition at Tokyo on Thursday.
Fourth seed Saina took 33 minutes to beat Mingtian 21-17, 21-16. She will take on Juan GU of Singapore on Friday.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist P Kashyap played his heart out before going down 15-21, 21-6, 18-21 to sixth seed Jin Chen in the men`s singles match which lasted for one hour and six minutes.
Ajay Jayaram, who stunned World number seven Tien Minh Nguyen yesterday, also became a second round casualty after losing 20-22, 16-21 to Indonesian Simon Santoso in a 42-minute battle.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa also failed to get past seventh seeded Jung Eun Ha and Min Jung Kim in the women`s doubles event. The Indian duo lost 9-21, 21-18, 22-24 to the Korean pair in 49 minutes.
The Indian mixed doubles pair of Jwala and V Diju also lost their second round battle 15-21, 10-21 against fifth seeded pair of Hung Ling Chen and Wen Hsing Cheng in just 24 minutes.
The 21-year-old Saina, however, kept India`s tricolor fluttering at the Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.
In the first game, Saina opened up a narrow 9-5 lead and though Mingtian caught up with her at 14-all, the Indian was able to held her fort to get ahead.
In the second game, Mingtian dominated the initial proceedings and had her nose ahead at 6-4 but Saina drew parity at 13-all and then broke off at 15-15 with six straight points to seal her place in the quarterfinals.