SYDNEY, May 28 (PTI): Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal notched up a hard-fought three-game win over China�s Sun Yu to emerge as the lone Indian survivor in Australian Open Super Series badminton tournament, here today.
World No. 1 Saina continued her rampaging run in world badminton and staved off a challenge from Sun, ranked 9th, 21-19, 19-21, 21-14 in a match that lasted an hour and 18 minutes in the women�s singles competition.
The Olympic bronze medallist will take on two-time All England champion Shixian Wang in the quarterfinals. Against Wang, Saina has a close 6-5 record in 11 meetings. However, it was curtains for World No. 4 Kidambi Srikanth and 2010 Commonwealth Games champion pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa today.
Fourth seed Srikanth squandered a first-game advantage to go down fighting to China�s Tian Houwei 21-18, 17-21, 13-21 in men�s singles, Jwala and Ashwini lost to fourth seeded Indonesian pair of Nitya Krishinda Maheswari and Greysia Polii 14-21, 10-21 in a women�s doubles match. Saina, who had beaten Sun thrice in the last four meetings, came out with a well-thought strategy as she broke off at 5-5 and entered the interval with a 11-6 lead.
Sun played better after the interval to slowly narrow the gap before clawing back at 18-18, but a determined Saina zoomed ahead to pocket the opening game. The Indian could have wrapped up the match in the second game itself as she had a huge six-point lead at 13-7 but Sun almost snatched the lead away after levelling the score at 13-13.