It’s advantage Saina as Wangs knocked out

Hong Kong Open:

HYDERABAD (TIP): Is Saina Nehwal cruising towards another Super Series title? Even as the third seeded Indian broke no sweat to get past unseeded Bei wen Zhang of the USA 21-16, 21-13 the women’s singles of the Hong Kong Open witnessed major upsets in Kowloon on Thursday. Little-known players ousted top seed Shixian Wang and second seed Wang Yihan.

The Chinese star shuttlers suffered unexpected defeats for the second week in succession. While Yihan lost to 23- year-old Malaysian Tee Jing Yi, Shixian suffered a three-game loss against compatriot Xin (F) Liu 16-21, 21-9, 15-21. Former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand was also shown the door by China Open finalist Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-19, 19- 21, 19-21. The exit of all these top guns and the absence of world No. 1 makes Saina, who moved to No. 4 on Thursday, as the overwhelming favourite to win the title. Making it a double delight for India, China Open men’s singles champion Kidambi Srikanth also made it to the quarters.

Srikanth defeated Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk of Thailand 21-19, 23-21 in the second round. However, PV Sindhu looked clueless in her three-game loss against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 17-21, 21 13, 11-21. “It was a little tough. I was actually leading in both the games but then he came back and I had to fight really hard for those crucial points,” Srikanth said. In the first game Srikanth was leading 14-5 before Saensomboonsuk caught him up at 14-14 but the Guntur lad moved ahead to 19-16 before securing the game at 21-19. In the second game Saensomboonsuk troubled Srikanth forcing the Indian to save a game point at 20-21. But Srikanth managed to sneak past the Thai by securing three straight points. The 21-yearold will now face Wei Nan of Hong Kong in the quarters.

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