Saina, Srikkanth enter Orleans Masters quarters

Nehwal, who had pulled out of last week's All England Championships due to a thigh injury, will face either France's Yaelle Hoyaux or Malaysia's Iris Wang next.

Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikkanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the Orleans Masters badminton tournament after defeating their respective opponents in women's and men's singles here on Thursday.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina prevailed over France's Marie Batomene in the women's singles second round, while the top-seeded Srikkanth beat Cheam Jun Wei of Malaysia 21-17 22-20 in a men's singles third round match.

Running against time to make it to her fourth Olympics, Saina recovered from the opening game reversal to see off world No. 65 Marie 18-21 21-15 21-10 in a 51-minute clash in the Super 100 event, which is part of BWF's revised Olympic qualification period.

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The fourth seeded Indian, who had pulled out of last week's All England Championships due to a thigh injury, will face Malaysia's Iris Wang next.

Srikkanth took 46 minutes to beat his Malaysian opponent. He will face either Toma Junior Popov of France or qualifier Philip Illum Klindt of Denmark in the last-eight stage..

Ira Sharma, ranked 162, also made it to the quarterfinals after beating Bulgaria's world no. 71 Mariya Mitsova 21-18, 21-13 in 32 minutes. The 21-year-old Indian is likely to clash against Denmark's Line Christophersen next.

On Wednesday, Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy, seeded eighth, scraped past the Denmark duo of Amalie Magelund and Freja Ravn 21-9, 17-21, 21-19 in women's doubles.

Seventh-seeded men's doubles pair of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila notched up a 21-14, 21-16 win over English pair of Matthew Clare and Ethan Van Leeuwen.

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Kapila then paired with Ashwini Ponnappa to beat the English mixed doubles duo of Callum Hemming and Victoria Williams 21-12 21-18 and enter the quarterfinals.

Another Indian men's doubles pair of Krishna Prasad Garaga and Vishnu Vardhan Goud Panjala beat Indonesian pair of Abiyyu Fauzan Majid and Habib Alfariz 21-10, 21-17.

However, Mithun Manjunath went down fighting 21-23, 21-9, 22-24 to Germany's Kai Schaefer in a gruelling contest.

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