World Badminton Championships: Saina thrashes Jacquet in 33 minutes

The Indian ace announces her arrival with a 21-11 21-12 win over the Swiss.

Saina Nehwal thumped Sabrina Jacquet (Switzerland) 21-11, 21-12 to enter the next round of the tournament.   -  SHIV KUMAR PUSHPAKAR

 

Saina Nehwal, who was out of action for two months post her knee surgery last year, has been preparing mentally for the World Badminton Championships. Though the 27-year-old failed to make it to the semifinal of the Australian Open earlier this year, but it set the stage for her return. On Wednesday, the Indian badminton ace thumped Sabrina Jacquet (Switzerland) 21-11, 21-12 to enter the next round of the tournament. She will face second seed Sung Ji Hyun in the pre-quarters.

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The 2015 World Championship silver medallist dominated from the first game, taking a quick 3-0 lead in the opening minutes. Soon, the scoreline read 10-6 as Saina earned a four-point lead towards the mid-game interval. The Indian looked sharp in her intent; the Swiss looked weak as she struggled to pick the shuttle from the back court. It didn’t take long for Saina to close the game at 21-11.

In the second game, Jacquet tried to show some resistance, but she fell prey to Saina’s deceptive forehand smashes. When the Swiss looked set for a comeback, creating a 9-6 situation, the Indian unsettled her with a terrific jump smash down the line.

Saina finished the game 21-12 in flat 33 minutes.

"I think it is always tough to play in the first round in any tournament, especially when you are playing against someone like Sabrina, who has been playing in the circuit for the last couple of years. It is a difficult task, but once you get used to the court and conditions, it gets better from there," said Saina, after the win.

Tanvi Lad couldn't continue her good show in the second round, as she lost to second seed Sung Ji Hyun 21-9 21-19. Rituparna Das also exited the competition with a 21-16, 21-13 loss against 16th seed Kirsty Gilmour.

Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy went down to Kamilla Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Denmark) 24-22 17-21 21-15. Sanjana Santosh-Arathi Sara Sunil lost 14-21 15-21 to Yixin Bao-Xiaohan Yu (China).