Denmark Open: Saina beats Yamaguchi, Sameer trumps Christie to reach quarters

first_imgSaina Nehwal advanced to the quarter-final of Denmark Open with a brilliant 21-15, 21-17 victory over world No.2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in just 36 minutes in Odense on Thursday.This is only the second victory for Saina over Yamaguchi in eight meetings. Saina had lost to the Japanese the last six times these two faced each other, the last one being a straight games loss in Malaysia Open this year.For Saina, who is ranked just outside the top 10 in the world, it was a huge victory over the second best woman in the world, in terms of ranking.Saina will next face another Japanese in Nozomi Okuhara, who earlier defeated Nitchaon Jindapol of Thailand 21-19, 21-18.DANISA DENMARK OPEN 2018 | Badminton WS – R16 – Highlights #badminton #HSBCBWFbadminton pic.twitter.com/39GPf2Cx6JBWF (@bwfmedia) October 18, 2018Saina Nehwal began the match in the worst way possible with a service error and falling four points behind Yamaguchi but got the hang of the sideways drift from there on and fought hard to make it 4-4.Thereafter, Saina kept the shuttle inside the court well while the sideways drift did in Yamaguchi. With both players going for all-court play, Saina went into the break with a slender 11-10 advantage.After the break, Saina came up strong and took four straight points to make it 15-10. After that, she maintained her lead over Yamaguchi, who looked a little tired and struggled to control the drift.Saina brought up five match point opportunities with a strong flat smash and needed just one to pocked the first game 21-15 in just 16 minutes as Yamaguchi sent the shuttle wide again.advertisementThe second began in exactly the same manner as Yamaguchi took the first four points before Saina registered her first. However, Yamaguchi read Saina’s strokes better this time around and took a 7-2 lead.With Yamaguchi threatening to run away with the game, Saina fought back with a good mix of strokes to reduce the gap to 6-9. Saina kept the scoreline close as Yamaguchi went into the break with an 11-8 advantage.During the break, Saina’s soon-to-be-husband and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Parupalli Kashyap advised Saina to keep the shuttle play and move Yamaguchi around the court to get points off her.Yamaguchi began the after-the-break half of the second game with a service error and Saina, then taking Kashyap’s advice, worked around Yamaguchi extremely well all over the court and forced Yamaguchi to make errors and made it 11-11.Saina then played two contrasting strokes in a cross-court drop shot and a down the line smash to take a lead of 13-11. Saina maintained her lead before Yamaguchi levelled it at 16-16.Saina, however, stuck to her strategy, made Yamaguchi work really hard for each stroke and brought up three match points. She set up the match with a tight net shot and then required three smashes to win the match.How to win against Yamaguchi #badminton #HSBCBWFbadminton pic.twitter.com/45KGV7By4hBWF (@bwfmedia) October 18, 2018SAMEER VERMA UPSTAGES JONATAN CHRISTIESameer Verma pulled off a massive victory against Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie of Indonesia to reach the quarter-finals in Odense.World No.23 Sameer took an hour and 10 minutes to upstage world No.13 Christie 23-21, 6-21, 22-20 in the last 16.News Flash: Sameer Verma continues his superb form as he upsets reigning Asian Games champion & World No. 13 Jonatan Christie 23-21, 6-21, 22-20 to storm into QFNext in QF, he would take on winner of match between Lin Dan & Srikanth #DenmarkOpenSuper750 pic.twitter.com/TLG7lDLrA6India_AllSports (@India_AllSports) October 18, 2018This is Sameer’s second victory over Christie in as many meetings. The two last met in Vietnam Open 2015.Sameer and Christie remained neck-and-neck in the first game judging each other and playing each other all over the court.Sameer saved a game point and needed two himself to take the first game 23-21.However, Christie completely outplayed Sameer in the second game — a game where Sameer could win just two consecutive points.Christie forced the match into the decider with utmost ease but Sameer turned up once more in the final game.Sameer put up a much better show in the final game and even though Christie saved three match points, Sameer managed to take the match in his fourth opportunity and entered the quarter-finals.Later in the day, Kidambi Srikanth will take on Chinese legend Lin Dan in another Round of 16 men’s singles match.The winner of this match will take on the in-form Sameer Verma.advertisementASHWINI-SIKKI PULL OFF MASSIVE UPSETAshwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy inflicted a massive upset in the Denmark Open as they beat seventh seed Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan of South Korea 18-21, 22-20, 21-18 to advance to the quarter-finals.News Flash: Our baddies are on fire today!Ashwini Ponnappa/ Sikki Reddy upset defending champions & World No. 7 Lee So Hee/ Shin Seung Chan of Korea 18-21, 22-20, 21-18 to storm into Women’s Doubles QF #DenmarkOpenSuper750 pic.twitter.com/2udHVPfa7HIndia_AllSports (@India_AllSports) October 18, 2018Ashwini and Sikki put all their might in the second and third games to notch up a come-from-behind victory against the South Koreans.Ashwini and Sikki are the 27th-ranked women’s doubles pair in the world while Lee and Shin are the world No.7 pair.Ashwini/Sikki fought hard but were edged out in the first game. However, they held their nerves in the second game to close it out at 22-20.Ashwini and Sikki took a little control in the third game and went into the break with an 11-9 lead.The Indian pair managed to keep track and maintained their lead to eventually pocked the match in an hour and one minute.last_img

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