It's a cruise for Saina, Srikanth at Worlds Sports News


HYDERABAD: Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth brooked no challenge even as half of the Indian side fell by the wayside on the third day of the BWF World Badminton Championships in Jakarta on Wednesday. HS Prannoy gave a solid start to the Indian campaign before Parupalli Kashyap suffered a shocking defeat. The Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa pair is the only doubles team left as all other teams lost in the first two rounds. Srikanth trounced Jen Hao Hsu of Chinese Taipei 21-14,

The second-seeded Indian will face 14th seed Sayaka Takahashi of Japan in the pre-quarterfinals. Saina has never lost to Takahashi in the three matches they have played so far. Earlier, India suffered an unexpected reversal when Kashyap went down against Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam 21-17, 13-21, 18-21. Kashyap had got a favourable draw and was expected to at least reach the semi-finals. The 27-year-old started on a solid note before faltering at the seventh point in the second game. He recovered and looked set to win the third game before he committed several unforced errors after the 14th point. Srikanth, meanwhile, looked quite sharp in his victory over Hsu. The 22-year-old shrugged off his poor form with another dominant victory against a respectable opponent. The Hyderabadi will now play Hu Yun of Hong Kong in the pre-quarterfinals. Kerala shuttler Prannoy made heavy weather of a lower-ranked opponent. After winning the first game without any difficulty, Prannoy played catch-up for most part of the second game before getting the better of Ekiring. He will face Viktor Axelsen in the last 16 clash. The seventh-seeded Dane defeated Adrian Dziolko of Poland 21-13, 21-15. Axelsen has beaten Prannoy twice in the last 12 months. Bronze medallists in 2011, Jwala and Ashwini eased past Pei Chen Hsieh and Jung Ti Wu of Taipei 2110, 21-18. The Indian pair have a tough test against Japanese eighth seeds Reika Kakiiwa and Miyuki Maeda. National doubles champions Pradnya Gadre and Sikki Reddy lost to 14th seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito 17-21, 19-21. Chief coach Pullela Gopichand said Kashyap and Pradnya-Sikki lost close matches. "Kashyap could have won the match. He played well in patches but didn't finish well. Sikki and Pradnya also lost a very close match. The rest played quite well. Srikanth hit well and looked good," said Gopichand. Defending champion Chen Long, five-time world champion Lin Dan, former world No. 1 Lee Chong Wei and reigning world No. 2 Jan O Jorgensen advanced to the last 16 stage. Former world champions Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, Wang Yihan of China, Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei, progressed to the prequarters in women's singles.

Read more