Fourth seeded Saina, who is desperately seeking ranking points to make it to her fourth Olympics, took just 21 minutes to beat Rachael 21-9 21-5 and set up a clash with France's Marie Batomene.
All England Open 2021: PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen into quarters; Satwiksairaj Rankireddy-Ashwini Ponnappa lose
Sindhu, the reigning world champion, recorded a dominant 21-8, 21-8 win over Denmark's Line Christophersen in a completely lop-sided second-round match.
Saina, who finished second best here in 2015, looked in discomfort with her right thigh and decided to retire after lagging 8-21, 4-10 behind in her opening round match against seventh seed Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark on Wednesday night.
With just a day remaining for the start of the main round of the All England Championships, Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal took to social media to express her dismay at being kept quarantined in her hotel room in Birmingham for over two days
All England Open 2021: Returning Japanese, Axelsen's dominance in focus as action returns to Birmingham
The projected return of the Japanese armada, combined with the withdrawal of the South Korean and Chinese Taipei squads, and the continued absence of the Chinese contingent due to the grim COVID-19 situation at home, form the major points of discussion as the All England Badminton Championships kick-off at the Arena Birmingham from Wednesday, 17 March.
Swiss Open 2021: Tepid Indian performance at Basel a reason to worry about Tokyo Olympics qualification
The early exits of Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen did them no favours as they fight to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
Prannoy admitted that hard quarantine at times could be so lonely that one feels that he can no longer go out in the sun.
Thailand Open Super 1000: HS Prannoy battles pain to upset Jonatan Christie; Ashwini Ponnappa-Sikki Reddy bow out
It is HS Prannoy's first win against the sixth-seeded Indonesian in the last four attempts.
Every one of the eight singles exponents – six in the men’s category, and two among the women, comprising the cream of Indian badminton – were sidelined before the completion of the second round matches
The Thailand Open is the first of three consecutive tournaments played in a bio-secure 'bubble' in Bangkok as badminton resumes after a coronavirus-ravaged 2020.
Thailand Open 2021: ‘Withdrawn’, ‘COVID-positive’ Saina Nehwal reinstated; to play first round match on Wednesday evening
After testing positive for COVID-19, Saina Nehwal was told that she, along with husband Parupalli Kashyap and HS Prannoy, would be moved immediately to a hospital, only for her to test negative hours later.
Thailand Open: Saina Nehwal, HS Prannoy test negative for COVID-19 hours after positive results, now cleared to play
Both the Badminton World Federation (BWF) and Badminton Association of India (BAI) confirmed the development.
Months after the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the international calendar, Sindhu, seeded sixth, returned to action with a 21-16, 24-26, 13-21 defeat to world no 18 Blichfeldt in a 74-minute battle.
The Indian duo will be quarantined in a hospital in the Thai capital for 10 days, in accordance with local rules. Saina's husband and fellow player Parupalli Kashyap too has been taken to hospital, but his results are awaited.
Saina Nehwal and Co leave for Thailand to compete in two Super 1000 events; PV Sindhu to fly from London
The Indian badminton team, including Olympic hopefuls Saina Nehwal, B Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth, on Sunday left for Thailand to compete in back-to-back BWF World Tour Super 1000 events.
"Kashyap, Guru, Prannoy and Pranaav returned positive but Saina tested negative," a source in the Gopichand academy said.
Concept of 'mixed singles' in international badminton does not hold water, will remain a non-starter
Vimal Kumar, chief coach at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy is categorical in his assessment that women shuttlers simply cannot match their male counterparts in competitive singles play.
"Remember how everybody said cricket will not be the same anymore when Sachin retired? I think it is a bit like that with Lin Dan's retirement," Prannoy said.
It has emerged now that Prannoy was recommended by Gopichand on 3 June in his capacity as a Khel Ratna Award recipient.
Same crime, different punishment: BAI's disparate appraisal of Srikanth Kidambi, HS Prannoy for top sports awards
Frankly speaking, there is a lot of merit in Prannoy’s rant against the BAI. He should, by rights, have been nominated for the Arjuna Award in 2018 or 2019. His misfortune lies in the fact that Sameer Verma’s claim this year appears a mite stronger, and the ageing Thiruvananthapuram player may just have missed the boat in the stakes of having the coveted statuette adorn his mantelpiece.