Lucknow: Defending champion Saina Nehwal and World number five Kidambi Srikanth were among the nine Indian shuttlers who entered the quarterfinals of the singles events at the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here on Thursday.
While Saina continued her march ahead, reaching the final eight with an easy win over Rituparna Das 21-15, 21-9, top seed Srikanth edged out Malaysia’s Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin 22-20, 20-22, 21-11 in a men’s singles match.
Olympic bronze medalist Saina, who climbed the ranking chart to No 3 position, will next clash with 2011 National Games champion Arundhati Pantawane, who defeated Spain’s Beatriz Corrales 22-20, 22-20.
Meanwhile, Chong Wei Feng of Malaysia blasted past German Open winner Arvind Bhat of India 21-6, 21-11 to set up a clash with top seed Kidambi Srikanth on Friday. In another men’s singles match, Singaporean Derek Wong pulled off a great escape by fighting off Sourabh Varma 16-21 21-17 21-16 to face Parupalli Kashyap in the quarterfinals. Friday’s match would give Derek Wong a chance to avenge his bitter final defeat to Parupalli Kashyap at the men’s singles final of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.