Saina, Srikanth advance in Hong Kong Open
HONG KONG, November 20
Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth posted contrasting victories to enter the quarterfinals of the women’s and men’s singles competition respectively in the $350,000 Hong Kong Super Series in Kowloon on Thursday. Srikanth faced stiff resistance before prevailing over his Thai opponent Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 21-19 23-21 in a second round contest that last 39 minutes.
Having opened up a 10-2 lead and then taken an upper hand at 11-3 at in the interval, Srikanth seemed to be running away with the opening game.
But the Thai shuttler fought back from 5-14 down, as he reeled off six straight points to reduce the gap to 14-11 and then caught up the Indian at 15-15.
Srikanth, however, broke away from there and sealed the game at 21-19.
The second game was a closely fought affair and the only time the Indian had an edge was when he earned four points on a trot to open up a 18-13 lead, but the Thailand player once against caught up with Srikanth.
It was a neck and neck battle for some time again, before Srikanth, who today achieved his career best world ranking of 10th, held on to his nerves to take game 23-21 and wrap up the match.
On the other hand, Saina had an easy outing as she took just 31 minutes to outplay United States’ Beiwen Zhang 21-16 21-13. The Indian now play sixth seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.