Saina, Srikanth enter quarters of Malaysia Masters


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Kuala Lumpur, January 17: Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal made it to the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Masters BWF Super 500 tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Srikanth recovered from a mid-match slump to beat Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong 23-21, 8-21, 21-18 but Saina broke no sweat in her straight game victory against Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong 21-14, 21-16.
It was curtains for Indian campaign in doubles as Ashwini Ponnappa and Sikki Reddy suffered a straight game defeat against the Indonesian combine of Ni Ketut Mahadewi Istarani and Rizki Amelia Pradipta 18-21, 17-21.
Men’s singles witnessed a major upset late on Wednesday as World No.1 and world champion Kento Momota was shocked by his compatriot Kenta Nishimoto 15-21, 21-14, 20-22. The joy was short lived for Nishimoto as he lost to qualifier Lee Zii Jia of Malaysia 15-21, 17-21 in the second round on Thursday.
Srikanth faced tough time against Vincent in the pre-quarterfinals. Trailing 7-12 at one stage Srikanth managed to win the first game with great difficulty.
He was completely outplayed in the second game as Vincent started with a 8-1 lead and dominated the Indian. Srikanth recovered in the decider and though Vincent stayed close till the 15th point, the Indian was in total control. From 15-15, Srikanth scored three crucial points and closed the issue. He will now face former World No.1 Wan Ho Son of Korea in the quarterfinals. Son downed Kantaphon Wangcharoen of Thailand 11-12, 21-12, 21-12. The fourth seed has a 5-4 win-loss record against Srikanth.
The other Indian in men’s singles, Parupalli Kashyap lost to Anthony Sinisuka Ginting of Indonesia 17-21, 23-25. From the top half of the draw, former world champions Viktor Axelsen and Chen Long made it to the last eight stage. (TNN)