Saina Nehwal finally beats Japanese rival to reach French Open quarters
Paris: After two successive defeats at Japan and Denmark, Saina Nehwal finally tamed Japanese Minatsu Mitani in straight games to reach the quarterfinals of the $275,000 French Open Super Series.
The World No.2 emerged as the only surviving Indian at the tournament after compatriots H S Prannoy, Ajay Jayaram, and women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the second round on Thursday.
Saina dished out a superb game to see off the World Championship bronze medallist Mitani 21-19, 21-16 in a 41-minute women's singles match to set up a fight with eight seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
In men's singles, NG Ka Long Angus of Hong Kong ended the run of Prannoy, who had beaten two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China, with a 21-15, 21-10 win against the Indian in the second round.
Two-time Dutch Open winner Jayaram too failed to cross the second round after suffering a 18-21, 8-21 loss to Tian Houwei of China.
2010 Commonwealth Games champions, Jwala and Ashwini lost 15-21, 18-21 to eight seeds Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek of Netherlands.