SEOUL, Sept 27: India ace Saina Nehwal progressed to the quarterfinals of the USD 600,000 Korea Open after seeing off Korea�s Kim Ga Eun at the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament here on Thursday.
Former world number one, who had won a bronze at the Asian Games and gold at Commonwealth Games this year, defeated Kim Ga Eun 21-18, 21-18 in a 37-minute women�s singles pre quarterfinal.
Fifth seed Saina will cross swords with 2017 world champion and third seed Japanese Nozomi Okuhara.
Saina has a 6-3 head-to-head count against Okuhara but she has lost to the Japanese in the last two meetings.
The Indian made a rampaging start, jumping to a 10-2 lead but Kim narrowed the gap to 8-11 at the break.
After the breather, Saina continued to move ahead, grabbing a 16-10 lead but the Korean reeled off six straight points to draw level at 18-18. However, Saina ensured there were no hiccups, grabbing the required three points to pocket the opening game.
Kim came back strongly in the second game, surging to an 8-1 advantage but the experienced Saina slowly clawed her way back to 10-13 and then claimed seven points on the trot to turn the tables on the Korean, reaching 17-13.
From there on, Saina sealed the contest, despite Kim�s attempts to fight back. � PTI