Hong Kong Open: Saina Nehwal through to quarters; Carolina Marin beats Yip Pui Yin
India's sixth-ranked Saina Nehwal weathered a three-game battle to book her ticket to the quarter-finals with a 21-18, 9-21, 21-16 win over Sayaka Sato.
Hong Kong: India's sixth-ranked Saina Nehwal weathered a three-game battle to book her ticket to the quarter-finals with a 21-18, 9-21, 21-16 win over Japan's Sayaka Sato.
Nehwal is on course to face compatriot PV Sindhu in the semis if they both were to win their quarterfinal clashes.
In the day's other action, top ranked Carolina Marin will not rest until she's captured the World Superseries Final in Dubai, the Spaniard vowed Thursday, after cruising through her second-round match at the Hong Kong Open.
The two-time world champion is already set to finish 2016 on a career high after becoming the first non-Asian to win the women's singles gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
The historic victory came months after Marin secured her second European Championship title, consolidating her position as the world number one in the Badminton World Federation's global rankings.
But outside of the Olympic triumph, Marin is still looking to grab her first superseries trophy for 2016.
"I would like to end the year with the title in Dubai," the 23 year old told AFP, as she brushed off suggestions that anyone threatened her reign at the top.
"When you control yourself and when you do what you know on the court, you can beat anyone."
The defending Hong Kong Open champ overcame an early deficit to beat local Yip Pui Yin in straight games, 21-18, 21-16, as the Spaniard's signature shrieks drew the occasional jeer from the partisan crowd.
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Paralympics gold medallist Pramod Bhagat says he learnt to stay calm under pressure from Sachin Tendulkar
The 33-year-old Indian, who had contracted polio when he was four years old, showed great mental fortitude as he recovered from an eight-point deficit in the second game to come up trumps against his opponent.
Bhagat, who had qualified for the men's singles SL3 event on Thursday, and Kohli beat Thailand's Siripong Teamarrom and Nipada Saensupa 21-15 21-19 in a 29-minute clash to finish second in Group B.