World Championships: Sindhu, Saina in last eight

The gruelling battle against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi lasted 87 minutes with Sindhu emerging a 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 victor.

P.V. Sindhu in action against Hong Kong's Cheung Ngan Yi on Thursday.   -  AFP

P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal kept India in the hunt by progressing to the quarterfinals of BWF Badminton Championships in Glasgow on Thursday.

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Sindhu, who twice won a bronze medal at the 2013 and 2014 editions, survived a scare against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi before prevailing 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 in a thrilling women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 27 minutes.

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The 22-year-old Indian fought back from 13-16 down in the second game after losing the first to eventually come up trumps. She will face fifth seed Sun Yu of China next.

Saina Nehwal crushed World No. 3 Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 21-15 to join compatriot Sindhu in the last eight and end the day on a high for India. It took the 12th seed 47 minutes to close out the match against the No. 2 seed and improve her head-to-head record against the Korean to 8-2.

India's Saina Nehwal waits to receive against South Korea's Sung Ji Hyun in Glasgow on Thursday.   -  AFP

 

Despite coming into the women’s singles match with a 3-0 head-to-head record, Sindhu found the going tough against her World No. 17 opponent, who held a slender 11-9 lead at the break.

After the interval, Sindhu clawed back with two points but the duel between the two became more fierce as they moved neck and neck till 19—19 when the Hong Kong girl moved ahead to earn the bragging rights.

Jolted by the first game reversal, Sindhu opened up a 4-0 lead but Cheung drew parity at 9-9 before grabbing an 11-10 advantage at the interval. The Hong Kong girl then moved to a 16-13 lead.

Sindhu, however, turned the tables at 17-16 and had three game point at 20-17. Cheung accumulated three points and was tied 21-21 when the Indian marched ahead to bounce back into the contest.

In the decider, Sindhu moved to a 11-6 lead early on but Cheung once again caught up with the Indian at 12-12. Sindhu then distanced herself, reaching 15-12 before comfortably grabbing five match points at 20—15. Cheung saved two match points before the Indian shut the door on her rival.