Lucknow: Top seeds Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu breezed into the women’s singles quarter-finals while the top four men’s seeds had to bite the dust in Round 3 of the $120,000 India Grand Prix Gold here Thursday.
Defending champion and top seed Parupalli Kashyap, second seed Ajay Jayaram, third seed R.M.V. Gurusaidutt and fourth seed Anand Pawar were shown the door by their respective opponents.
Earlier, World No.9 Saina eased past Russian World No.47 Natalia Perminova 21-5, 21-10 in 32 minutes in their first meeting. The Olympic bronze medallist faces fifth seed Ballaetrix Manuputty of Indonesia Friday.
Sindhu also had an easy time on the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium courts, defeating Swiss Sabrina Jaquet 21-19, 21-5 in 29 minutes in their first ever match.
In the men’s singles, Malaysian 12th seed Zulfadli Zulkiffli took 43 minutes to dispatch Kashyap 21-16, 21-12. The defending champion was heavily strapped since he had partially dislocated his shoulder before the nationals in December.
Mumbai’s Jayaram was shocked by compatriot and 16th seeded Bengali Subhankar Dey 19-21, 17-21 in 39 minutes while friends turned foes as 11th seed B. Sai Praneeth made a comeback win to oust third seed Gurusaidutt 15-21, 21-9, 21-16 in 53 minutes.
Sai rallied after losing the first game to get the better of Gurusaidutt and will now face Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold champion Kidambi Srikanth in the quarter-finals.
Later, Zainuddin also caused an upset when he beat Mumbai’s fourth seeded Anand Pawar 22-20, 21-11 in 39 minutes.
The match of the day belonged to reigning national champion Srikanth and former national champion Arvind Bhat, both of whom saved four match points but the tie was eventually won by Srikanth.
Bhat was on his way to the quarters with one game in the bag and leading the second 20-17 but the sixth seed saved four matchpoints to overcome the 14th seed and take the game 23-21 and level the match 1-1.
Bhat returned the favour in the decider by also saving four match points but the 20-year-old held his nerve to win the one hour and 11 minute contest 19-21, 23-21, 24-22.
In the mixed doubles, Chinese combine Si Wei Zheng and Yi Fan Jia upset Indian fourth seeds Tarun Kona and Ashwini Ponnappa 16-21, 21-13, 22-20 in 44 minutes. Ashwini came back to win her women’s doubles match with Jwala Gutta.
Jwala and Ashwini upset Malaysian third seeds Amelia Alicia Anscelly and Fie Cho Soong 21-19, 15-21, 21-19 in 53 minutes to progress to the last eight.