Saina off to a great start

Saina NehwalHere's a good news from World Badminton Championships.

Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of World Badminton Championships with a straight-game victory over Russian Anastasia Prokopenko in Hyderabad on Wednesday.

Saina, who was laid low by chicken pox just a few days before the championship, defeated her rival 21-10 21-17 in 27 minutes in the women's singles second round.

She now faces 13 seed Petya Nedelcheva of Bulgaria on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Indian shuttler, who ranked sixth in the world, got a bye in the first round of the match.

In a little time, the local player started aggressively and opened up a 12-8 lead.

Leading 16-8 after that, Saina smashed five straight points to pocket the first game easily.

However, she struggled a bit in the next game as a change of ends led to slower drift for her.

In a battle of nerves, the two rivals went neck and neck from 5-5 to 14-14 but after a see-saw battle, it was the Hyderabadi who had the last laugh.

After winning the match, Saina said: "In the first game, the drift was fast so I played a more attacking game and hit more smashes. She couldn't pick up those but in the same game I was on the other side, so knowing the wind I involved her in some long rallies."

"I have played her for the first time but yesterday I saw her play. She has some good drives. I was confident about my game and I am happy that I started on the right note," added the world number six.

Speaking on her health, she said that she was completely fit and didn't feel too tired.

Meanwhile, men's doubles pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Jishnu Sanyal of India squandered a position of strength to go down 21-17 13-21 18-21 against 16th seed Vitalij Durkin and Alexandr Nikolaenko of Russia in 40 minutes.




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