Saina storms into All England quarters

Birmingham: Title contender Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stormed into the quarterfinals of the All England Badminton Championships women`s single competition with a straight-set victory over her Chinese Taipei opponent here.

Saina, seeded fifth in the prestigious tournament, beat unseeded Tzu Ying Tai 21-17 21-17 in a second round match that lasted 30 minutes.

In the quarterfinals, she will meet Eriko Hirose of Japan who beat Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand 21-13 18-21 21-13 in another round two match last night.

Saina dominated her rival at the nets and in smashes and in both the sets she was the one who made the final flourish after a stiff contest.

The first set saw neck-on-neck tussle between the two as they were 8-8 and then 14-14. But after that, Saina won five consecutive points to race to 19-14 before taking the set.

In the second set also, there was a stiff fight from the Chinese Taipei player and the two were locked 17-17 before Saina took four consecutive points to wrap up the match.

Saina now remained the only Indian shuttler left in the tournament as all her compatriots have already crashed out.

In the mixed doubles, V Diju and Jwala Gutta lost to fifth seeded Chinese pair of Tao Jiaming and Qing Tian 11-21 12-21 in a round two match.

In the women`s doubles also, Indian duo of Gutta and Ashiwni Ponnappa suffered heartbreak as they lost to Denmark`s Line Damkjaer Kruse and Marie Roepke 17-21 21-19 21-18 in a hard-fought second round match that lasted 53 minutes.

In the men`s doubles, Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas lost to eighth seeded Indonesian pair of Mohammad Ahsan and Bona Septano 16-21 16-21 in the second round.

In men`s singles, P Kashyap, Anand Pawar and Ajay Jayaram had already crashed out of the tournament in the first round.