Mixed doubles pair Diju and Jwala Gutta too enter last eight
Kuala Lumpur: Saina Nehwal survived a close second round match against a relatively unknown Thai, scrambling to a 18-21 21-12 21-18 win to enter the quarterfinals of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold on Thursday. Also in the quarters were the mixed doubles pair of V Diju and Jwala Gutta.
Top seeds Diju and Jwala eased past Tan Wee Tat/ Ng Hui Ern of Malaysia 21-12 21-12. Jwala had another impressive performance in the women’s doubles. Jwala and young partner Ashwini Ponnappa gave a stiff fight to world No.1 pair Wong Pei Tty/ Chin Eei Hui of Malaysia, losing 23-25 21-16 21-12. In the men’s doubles, Rupesh and Sanave got a big win against sixth seeded Chinese pair Chen Zhiben/ Ye Shen 14-21 21-15 21-16, but fell in the quarterfinals
None of the men could make it past the third round. Arvind Bhat had no answers to Chinese prodigy Chen Long in a 21-5 21-11 result, while Ajay Jayaram too fell in straight games, 21-15 21-14, to Hong Kong’s Hu Yun.
Saina ran into unexpected trouble from Thai girl Ratnachok Intanon. The first game was neck-and-neck all the way, but the Thai broke away from 17-all. Saina fought back, established an early lead in the second game and never let her grip. In the third game too she led for much of the match, although the Thai kept within two points and came close at 17-18.