Sarawak: Top Indian shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Ajay Jayaram continued their good run and reached the quarterfinals of the season-opening Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold here on Thursday.
London Olympics bronze-medallist and former World No. 1 Saina brushed aside Indonesia’s Hanna Ramadini 21-17 21-12 in a 42-minute contest. The top-seeded Indian will next face eighth seed Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani. Sixth seed Jayaram, meanwhile, staved off a challenge from Chinese Taipei’s Hsueh Hsuan Yi 21-12 15-21 21-15 at the Sibu Indoor Stadium. The 29-year-old Indian will next face Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting.
However, it was end of the road for women’s doubles pair of Aparna Balan and Prajakta Sawant as they suffered a 18-21 14-21 loss against the second-seeded Chinese Taipei combo of Chiang Kai Hsin and Hung Shih Han. In men’s doubles, Rio Olympians Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy, seeded third, also bowed out of the tournament after losing 17-21 21-18 12-21 to the Indonesian combo of Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Markis Kido.
Arjun M R and Ramchandran Shlok also lost 14-21 17-21 to Hong Kong’s Law Cheuk Him and Lee Chun Hei Reginald in another men’s doubles match. The Indo-Malaysian mixed doubles pair of Prajakta Sawant and Yogendran Khrishnan also suffered a 17-21 17-21 defeat to eighth seed Yong Kai Terry Hee and Wei Han Tan of Singapore to end their campaign.
Newly-formed pair of Jwala Gutta and Manu Attri too couldn’t get past the sixth seeded Indonesian combo of Tontowi Ahmad and Gloria Emanuelle Widjaja 18-21 10-21 to crash out of the event.