Top Indian shuttlers P V Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth advanced to the quarterfinals of the USD 120,000 Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold after notching up contrasting victories in the women’s and men’s singles competition at Penang on Thursday.
Two-time bronze medallist at World Championship, Sindhu continued her unbeaten run as she edged out Japan’s Kaori Imabeppu 21-13 13-21 21-14 in a hard-fought battle to take her overall record against the Japanese to 3-0, having beaten her at the World Championship and Japan Open in 2012 and 2013 respectively. The third seeded Indian will next take on Indonesia’s Lindaweni Fanetri.
Second seed Srikanth, who clinched the India Super Series and Swiss Open last year, thrashed 16th seed Boonsak Ponsana of Thailand 21-17 21-10 in a men’s singles match to take a 2-1 lead in their head-to-head encounter. The World No. 9 from Guntur will lock horns with China’s Huang Yuxiang next.
Ajay Jayaram, seeded 10th, also progressed to the last eight round but he had to fight it out to register a 11-21 21-8 22-20 win over Malaysia’s Zulfadli Zulkiffli. Jayram will now face the winner of another third round match between top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and Singapore’s Zi Liang Derek Wong.
However, it was curtains for Indian women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa as they lost their second round match 14-21 17-21 against Japanese duo of Shizuka Matsuo and Mami Naito in just 37 minutes to crash out of the tournament.