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Badminton: Saina stands tall amongst crumbling Indian contingent at Indonesian Open

India’s shuttle ace Saina Nehwal once again emerged as the sole Indian survivor at the ongoing Indonesia Open after she registered a straight-game win over local favourite Fitriani Fitriani to reach the quarterfinals in Jakarta on Thursday.

India's Saina Nehwal plays against China's Yihan Wang during their womens singles badminton semifinals match during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Wembley Arena

Three-time champion, Saina prevailed over World No. 53 Fitriani, 21-11 21-10, in a match that lasted 32 minutes.

Eight seed Saina, who had won the title in 2009, 2010 and 2012, is likely to face top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the last eight.

However, it was the end of the road for the women’s and men’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta- Ashwini Ponnappa and Manu Attri – B Sumeeth Reddy, after they suffered contrasting defeats earlier on Thursday.

While 2010 Commonwealth Games champions Jwala and Ashwini lost 9-21 18-21 to the Chinese duo of Huang Yaqiong and Tang Jinhua, Manu and Sumeeth (Ranked 20th in the doubles world rankings) went down 18-21 13-21 to sixth seeded Korean pair of Ko Sung Hyun and Shin Baek Cheol.

Saina, who had beaten Fitriani at the Badminton Asia Championships in April 2016, dished out a dominating game for which the Indonesian had no clue.

In the opening game, Saina moved to a 9-7 lead and then raced to 14-7 with six consecutive points.

The Indian kept marching ahead and soon pocketed the game to earn bragging rights.

In the second game, Saina came out all cylinders blazing as she zoomed to a 10-3 lead and then continued her rampaging run even as Fitriani’s game crumbled.

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