Singapore Open: Saina, Sindhu, Prannoy in quarterfinals

H S Prannoy
H S Prannoy continued his fine run. File photo: AFP/Mohd Rasfan

Singapore: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal showed signs of regaining her form on her way to a sensational win over Chinese world No. 9 He Bing Jiao in the Singapore Open here on Thursday.

The two-time Commonwealth Games gold joined compatriots P V Sindhu and H S Prannoy in the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Saina, a London Olympics bronze medallist, prevailed 21-19, 11-21, 21-17 over the fifth seeded Chinese to make the last eight, her first in a Super 500 event in over two and a half years.

The 32-year-old from Hyderabad has been battling a series of injuries and lack of form in the past few years, which forced her to skip the selection trials for the Commonwealth Games, in April.

In the last three years, Saina's best performance had been a semifinal finish at Orleans Master Super 100 last year. She had also reached the quarterfinal stage at Malaysia Masters and Barcelona Spain Masters in 2020.

Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu and in-form Prannoy also registered fighting wins.

Third seed Sindhu staved off a spirited challenge from Vietnam's world No. 59 Thuy Linh Nguyen 19-21, 21-19, 21-18 to set up a clash with China's Han Yue.

Prannoy, ranked world No. 19, notched up his second win in three weeks over world No. 4 and third seed Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 14-21, 22-20, 21-18 in an hour and nine minute contest.

The 29-year-old Keralite, who is looking to end his five-year-old title drought, will face Japan's Kodai Naraoka next.

The men's doubles pairing of M R Arjun and Dhruv Kapila also entered the quarterfinals, with a stunning 18-21, 24-22, 21-18 win over sixth seeded Malaysian combination of Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin.

A day after notching up an unset win over compatriot Kidambi Srikanth, Mithun Manjunath exited with a fighting 10-21, 21-18, 16-21 loss to Ireland's Nhat Nguyen.

Ashmita Chaliha, who had defeated Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan, also couldn't proceed further, losing 9-21 13-21 to Han Yue of China.

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