Saina in Quarters of Swiss Open

Basel, March 19 (IANS) India's badminton star Saina Nehwal took sweet revenge for her All England loss by beating Japanese Eriko Hirose 21-15, 17-21, 21-11 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open Grand Prix.

Just a week back, Eriko had beaten Saina in the quarterfinals of the prestigious event in Brimingham.

The second round match here Thursday night was again a close contest between the World No. 4 Saina and No. 12 Hirose, who eventually reached the finals in England.

The Indian was trailing 5-9 in the first game but came back to close it courtesy a combination of smashes and deft drop shots at the net. Eriko came back strongly in the second set winning it after being down 3-6 at one stage.

Saina went all guns blazing in the decider and raced to a 13-5 lead from 5-5. From there on, it was Saina all the way as her opponent failed to make a comeback.

The Hyderabad-based shuttler next faces Petla Nedelcheva of Bulgaria in the last eight.

It was a mixed bag for India in the doubles event.

Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas upset sixth-seed Jonas Rasmussen and Mads Conrad-Petersen 17-21, 21-15, 21-15 to enter the second round of the men's doubles.

The women's pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwani Ponnappa crashed out in the opening round. The pair lost to South Korean pair of Yong Dae Lee and Jung Eun Ha 16-21, 12-21.


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