" Kuala Lumpur, April 3 - World No.1 Saina Nehwal beat Chinese Sun Yu 21-11,…
Saina Nehwal sailed past Indonesia’s Hana Ramadhini to make her maiden semifinals at the India Open Super Series while giant-killer H S Prannoy and RMV Gurusaidutt went down fighting in the quarterfinals at the Siri Fort Complex on Friday.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina defeated Hana 21-15 21-12 in the women’s singles competition at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
However the biggest upset of the day came when Indonesian unknown Tommy Sugiarto pulled off a monumental victory over five-time World champion Lin Dan.
The eighth seed and World No. 10, Sugiarto, recovered from dropping the second game to World No. 3 ‘Super” Dan to complete an incredible 21-17, 15-21, 21-17 victory in the $275,000 event.
A sizeable crowd, which had come to see two-time Olympic champion Dan in action, was completely silent as the legendary Chinese player walked off the court with a deadpan expression after losing the quarter. A shocked Dan also skipped the mandatory media interaction at the mixed zone and left the arena in a jiffy.
Dan hardly looked in trouble during his run to the last-eight stage and he again looked at ease with her powerful smashes in the first few rallies of the opening game, which proved too much for the tenacious Sugiarto.
However, the Indonesian was undeterred and came out positively to make the third seed Dan move all over the court with his cleverly-placed shots and pocket the first game. Sugiarto fell to the court in tears when Dan planted his shot into the net. It was the first time that Dan was stretched to three games in this Super Series event.
“This is certainly my best performance till now as I have played against Lin Dan thrice before but never won,” said an elated Sugiarto after the match.
Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth beat Japan’s Takuma Ueda 21-15, 23-25, 21-18 to enter the semifinals. But H.S. Prannoy and R.M.V. Gurusaidutt crashed out of the singles. Prannoy, who had ousted top seed Jan O.
Jorgensen on Thursday, found another Dane a little tricky to handle. World No. 6 Viktor Axelsen defeated Prannoy in front of home crowd 16-21, 21-9, 21-18. Sai Dutt lost to China’s Xue Song 15-21, 21-18, 21-13.
Results: Women’s singles: 3-R Intanon (THA) bt Y Xue(CHN) 21-14 21-8, 1- S Nehwal (IND) bt H Ramadhini (INA) 21-15 21-12, 2-C Marin (ESP) bt 6-N Okuhara (JPN) 21-15 17-21 21-15, Y Hashimoto (JPN) bt 7-Y Yin (HKG) 20-22 21-15 21-17; Men’s singles: 6-V Axelsen (DEN) bt HS Prannoy (IND) 16-21 21-9 21-18, 8-T Sugiarto (INA) bt 3-L Dan (CHN) 21-17 15-21 21-17, X Song (CHN) bt RMV Gurusaidutt (IND) 15-21 21-18 21-13, K Srikanth (IND) bt U Takuma (JPN) 21-15 23-25 21-18