Swiss Open: Saina, Rupesh-Sanave steal the show

Saina has revenge over Hirose; Rupesh-Sanave stun Conrad-Rasmussen

Dev S Sukumar

Basel: Saina Nehwal avenged her All England defeat to Eriko Hirose to enter the quarterfinals of the Swiss Open GP Gold, but an equally remarkable performance came in the men’s doubles. Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas stunned Danish pair and sixth seeds Mads-Conrad Petersen and Jonas Rasmussen to progress into the quarterfinals, alongside compatriots Saina and Ajay Jayaram.
Jayaram repeated his All England victory over Dane Hans-Christian Vittinghus, and set up a quarterfinal showdown with former Asian champion Park Sung Hwan.
Second seed Saina beat All England finalist Eriko 21-15 17-21 21-11 in a match which lasted close to an hour to set up a clash with sixth seed Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva in the quarterfinals.
Nedelcheva defeated qualifier Karin Schnaase of Germany 21-12 21-11 last night.
Eriko had beaten Saina in the quarterfinals of the All England Championships last week and the Japanese got off to a good start in the first game in Switzerland.
She opened up a four-point lead at 9-4 in the second round but Saina caught up with her and moved ahead to pocket the opener.
Her back against the wall, Eriko came back strongly in the second game and moved neck-and-neck with Saina before surging ahead from 17-16 to equalise.
In the decider, world number four Saina didn’t give any chance to her rival and shut the match with ruthless precision moving to 13-5 first and then holding on to it as Eriko crumbled.
In men’s singles, Ajay Jayaram also reached the quarterfinals with a hard-fought 15-21 23-21 21-19 victory over 16th seed Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the third round last night.
Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas beat sixth seeds and Malaysia Super Series finalists Mads Conrad-Petersen and Jonas Rasmussen of Denmark 17-21 21-15 21-15 in the men’s doubles category. This was one of the best wins of their career.
The Indian duo will next take on fourth seeds Chieh Min Fang and Sheng Mu Lee of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.
In women’s doubles, there was disappointment in store for Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa.
The Commonwealth Games gold medallist lost 16-21 12-21 to seventh seeds Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito in the pre-quarterfinals last night.

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About badmintonmania

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the Indian in Thoreau's Walden who makes cane baskets and is surprised nobody wants them. A. was talking about discipline when she said: "But Dev, if you want to move ahead in life, you'll have to be like that," and she may as well have defined everything else for me. I've played the low percentage game for too long to believe there's anything in it but the romance; the odds keep getting jacked up higher and higher; and you may be a good Idealist but a worse Fool.
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