HomeSportsBadmintonAll England Badminton Championship Day 2: Saina, Srikanth Enter Quarters
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All England Badminton Championship Day 2: Saina, Srikanth Enter Quarters

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Saina Nehwal put aside a tough Line Hojmark Kjaersfeldt in a bid to advance to the quarterfinals of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Thursday. Saina had to work hard against the Dane and had to return from a 1-0 deficit to win 8-21, 21-16, 21-13.

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Kidambi Srikanth also won against Jonatan Christie by 21-17, 11-21, 21-12 to proceed to the next round. However, Sameer Verma had to bow out of the competition after a defeat against Long Angus.

Also Read | All England Badminton Championship Day 1: Saina, Kidambi Shine, Sindhu Knocked Out

Resilient Saina Prevails

It was never going to be easy for the former World No.1 Saina Nehwal to win against Kjaersfeldt, a thing that she learnt the hard way. The Danish shuttler performed excellently well and even won the first set. However, she fell just short in the experience, agility and the indomitable spirit that the Indian displayed. The highly tense contest lasted for well over 50 minutes.

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Although this was Saina’s third meeting against Kjaersfeldt, it was only the first time that the Olympic bronze medalist dropped the first set against her. Nonetheless, Saina displayed incredible fighting spirit ot get back in the game and down the Dane.

The win also sees Saina lead the head-to-head record Kjaersfeldt by 3-0. Saina will now face the winner of the women’s singles Round of 16 match between Beiwen Zhang and Tai Tzu Ying.

Kjaersfeldt began the match on the upsurge by taking the first two points. In recent times, Saina has been a slow starter but on Thursday, she was unable to get on top of the Danish in the first game.

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The Game

The first set was a stroll in the park for Kjaersfeldt. Apart from a letting out a few points intermittently, she easily ran ahead with the first game 21-8.

Saina made a swift return in the second set, starting on much better footing than the first game. She soon went on to take a 7-4 lead.

Although Kjaersfeldt did fight to make it 8-8, and even took a 11-9 lead after the break.

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However, with the experience and guile that she possessed, Saina easily took control of thereafter. Building on a solid gap of 16-12 at one point, she forced her opponent to the decider with some effective stroke-play.

The Decider

In the finale, Saina stayed on top from the start itself and ever let go of the control. With momentum on her side, she went on to take an 11-7 lead going into the break. Kjaersfeldt simply couldn’t play the catch-up game with the Indian.

Post break as well, Saina kept on winning points after points regularly. Ultimately, the Indian brought the game to the match-point at 20-13 before finishing off the game.

Kidambi Srikanth Impresses, Again

Kidambi Srikanth made his way into the quarter-finals by clinching another three-game thriller against the Asian Games 2018 gold-medallist Jonatan Christie. Srikanth managed to beat Christie by 21-17, 11-21, 21-12 in a match that lasted 58 minutes to progress.

Although the recent history was not in Srikanth’s favour, having lost two previous defeats against Christie, he displayed impressive accuracy and strength to advance.

As a result of the victory, Srikanth has not only levelled the head-to-head count to 3-3, he will also face Japan’s BWF World No.1 Kento Momota on Friday.

Sai Praneeth Bows Out to Angus

Sai Praneeth bid adieu to the All England Championships in Birmingham after Hong Kong’s NG Long Angus inflicted a defeat in straight games in the second round of the tournament. Praneeth lost by 12-21, 17-21 in a match that lasted just 35 minutes.

Praneeth had earlier gotten the better of compatriot HS Prannoy in the first round. However, it felt as though the Wednesday match had taken a toll on the shuttler as he was anything but a match to Angus. The Hong Kong player absolutely put the Indian aside to progress on to the next round.

This was Praneeth’s second consecutive loss to Angus. The last defeat came in Japan Open 2016, a venue where the Indian has lost in three games.

With the loss, Praneeth now lags 2-3 behind Angus in their head-to-head record.

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Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya
Monish Gadiya is the Head of Content at KreedOn. He is a thorough tech-enthusiast and believes that innovation is the answer to all the problems prevalent in the society. Monish graduated from University of Pune with a degree in Civil Engineering before pursuing a post-graduate diploma course in intellectual property rights. A die-hard football fan, he has represented his college at various football competitions.


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