Saina, Sindhu enter Swiss Open quarters

Basel, March 14: Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu had contrasting victories to progress to the women’s singles quarterfinals at the $125,000 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold at St. Jakobshalle here Thursday.

French World No.42 Sashina Vignes Waran was no match for the sixth seeded Indian as Saina came out on top 21-7, 21-13 in 34 minutes to proceed to the next stage. With the triumph, the Olympic bronze medallist took an undefeated 3-0 advantage in career clashes against Sashina.

A two-time winner here, the Hyderabadi next faces a hugely challenging task in the form of top seed and former World Champion Yihan Wang of China. Though the former World No.1 has a 6-1 lead over World No.8 Saina, the Indian came out on top the last time they met.

Earlier, seventh seeded Sindhu lost a cliff-hanger first game to Canada’s Li Michelle but displayed all her grit and experience stage a come-from-behind victory. The World Championship bronze medallist ousted her unseeded opponent 19-21, 21-16, 21-11 in 54 minutes to take 2-0 lead in career meets.

Sindhu had also beaten the World No.23 Li in straight games in December 2013 to lift her second Gold Prix Gold title at the Macau Open. Saina’s city and academy mate Sindhu will next take on World No.2 and third seed Shixian Wang of China.

Fresh from her victory at the All England Open Badminton Championships last week, Shixian is in top form and Sindhu will have to play her best to take out the Chinese. However, the Indian can take heart from the fact that she has an unbeaten 2-0 record over her.

Earlier, Mumbai’s Anand Pawar crashed out of the men’s singles third round after losing to Chinese Taipei’s Tien Chen Chou. Despite a dominating performance in the first game, the Indian went on to lose the next two games tamely to the sixth seed to end his European campaign.

Chou won 14-21, 21-12, 21-12 in 51 minutes to take a 3-0 career advantage over Pawar.

Parupalli Kashyap plays his match later in the day.

IANS