Saina enters quarters, Jayaram knocked out

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Lucknow, Jan 23 (IANS) Top seed Saina Nehwal sailed through to the quarterfinals while second seed Ajay Jayaram suffered a shocking third round loss at the $120,000 India Grand Prix Gold at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here Thursday.

World No.9 Saina had an easy outing in a Round 2 women’s singles game as she walked past Russian World No.47 Natalia Perminova 21-5, 21-10 in 32 minutes in their first meeting. In the men’s singles, second seed Jayaram was not so lucky as he was stunned by 16th seeded Bengali Subhankar Dey 19-21, 17-21 in 39 minutes.

Malaysian 13th seed Iskandar Zulkarnain Zainuddin later also caused an upset when he beat Mumbai’s fourth seed Anand Pawar 22-20, 21-11 in 39 minutes.

In the match of the day, reigning national champion Kidambi Srikanth saved four match points in the second game to overcome former national champion and 14th seed Arvind Bhat in a marathon one hour and 11 minute clash.

Bhat returned the favour in the third game by also saving four matchpoints but eventually the sixth seed held his nerves to win 19-21, 23-21, 24-22.

In 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.

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