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Saina enters quarterfinals of All England Championship

Ace Indian Saina Nehwal, sailed into the quarterfinals with a 21-16, 21-9 win over Thailand’s Busanan Ongbumrungphan in the second round of the All England Badminton Championship.

The World No. 2 Indian, who is making a comeback after a long injury lay-off, had dispatched Commonwealth Games champion Michelle Li of Canada 21-17, 21-12 in the opening round.

For two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, P V Sindhu, it turned out to be yet another disappointing tournament as she lost 21-18, 17-21, 12-21 to Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand.

But the star for India in the opening day was Praneeth as the Indian stunned fans around the world into silence, dumping Lee Chong Wei in the first round.

The Malaysian legend inexplicably squandered huge leads of 11-3 and 15-7 in the opening game and 16-10 and 17-12 in the second game to succumb to a humiliating defeat at the hands of an unheralded Indian.

“This is a big shock to me. I am very happy. I have been waiting for a big result like this. I got more confidence when I levelled the score 15-15 in the first game and I just kept playing my shots,” said the 23-year-old Indian after snapping Lee Chong Wei’s 21-match winning streak.

World No. 2 Lee Chong Wei, who has been in good form in recent months with three World Superseries titles and one Grand Prix Gold title to his name, said: “This is totally unexpected for me. I came here to win.

“Praneeth has improved a lot since we played in the Canada Open last year. I think he has a great future,” said the 33-year-old.

 

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