Seoul: India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal sailed into the quarter finals with a straight game victory but it was curtains for Parupalli Kashyap and P V Sindhu in the second round of the Korea Open Super Series Premier here on Thursday.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina took 36 minutes to brush aside Mingtian Fu of Indonesia 21-16, 21-9 in the women’s singles at the SK Handball Stadium.
World No. 3 Saina will next take on Lin Han of China, a player against whom she has a 2-0 record. Han beat Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei 21-16, 21-16 in another match.
Olympic quarter finalist Kashyap played his heart out and was one game up but seventh seed Yun Hu of Hong Kong came from behind to notch up a 16-21, 21-13, 21-17 victory over the Indian in the men’s singles.
World No. 17 Sindhu also failed to cross the second round after she went down 19-21, 13-21 to Thailand’s Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in a 31-minute women's singles match.
Sindhu had beaten the Thai twice in the past but she was not third time lucky as the world No. 13 set up a clash with Korea’s Ji Hyun Sung, who stunned seventh seed Chinese Yanjiao Jiang 21-10, 21-17.
Saina dominated the nets and used her smashes to good use against Mingtian. The Indian slowly opened up a 3-1 lead in the first game and kept widening the gap to pocket the game.
The second game was no different as Saina once again moved to 6-2 early on and then stretched her lead by reeling off consecutive points at will to make a smooth entry into the quarter finals.
Kashyap, who had notched up his first international title winning the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow last month, was at his dominating best in the first game as he didn't give any chance to Yun.
In the second game, Yun came back strongly to give Kashyap a taste of his own medicine as the Hong Kong player opened up a 3-0 lead and didn't give any chance to the Indian to claw back.
The decider turned out to be an intense battle of nerves and Kashyap did well to surge ahead 16-14 but then luck deserted him as he lost a couple of strings of two of his racquet, which allowed Yun to climb back and turn the tables on the Indian.
“I should have won today. He is a tricky player. I was very unlucky though. At 16-14 in the third game when I was leading the string of one racquet broke and my smash went in the net,” Kashyap said.
“Next again, one more racket string broke at 17-16 and again a smash went out. Next two points he hit good shots and won. Sometimes we are not lucky,” he added.
Kashyap, meanwhile, reached a career-best ranking of world No. 11 in the latest rankings. Soon after Kashyap was knocked out, came the news of his giant leap in the rankings, which was like a “breath of fresh air” for him.