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Saina storms into third round of Asian Junior Badminton

Written by: Staff
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Kuala Lumpur, July 7 (UNI) Saina Nehwal stormed into the third round in the girls' singles event of the Asian Junior Badminton Championship with a facile 21-2, 21-9 win over Raquel Guerrero of Philippines here.

The 16-year-old will now take on Cheng Wen of China in the third round with a possible quarter-final clash with the in-form Malaysian Lydia Cheah.

''Saina is our future and is extremely talented. I am confident she has the ability to give us our first Asian Junior title,'' Indian junior chief coach Sanjeev Sachdeva said after the match.

The Philippine Open champion hardly put a foot wrong as she opened her campaign at the tournament by outplaying Guerrero after getting a bye in the first round.

Saina is tipped to win the third round match comfortably and the Indian coach is already looking forward to the possible quarterfinal clash with Lydia.

''There are some good players in the tournament. Lydia is good and as always. But Saina had proved herself by winning the Philippines Open and I believe she can go all the way here,'' he said.

Lydia has not beaten Saina in the two previous meetings. Lydia will meet Mizuki Fuji of Japan in the third round.

''That match against Lydia wil be very crucial but I still think Saina will eventually win. The record favours our girl,'' says Sanjeev.

Meanwhile, the Indians had a mixed day in the doubles event with Arun Vishnu and Ram C Vijay losing their second round clash in the boys' doubles event against Liu Xialong and Zhang Yingdong 7-21, 12-21.

However, the pair of Jishnu Sanyal and Akshay Dewalkar won their second round match against the Sri Lankan duo of Sandeepana Rajitha Dahanayaka and DJ Nuwan Hettiarachchi.

Jishnu and Akshay will now take on Derek Liang Zi Wong and Jonathan loong Yew Tang of Singapore in the third round.

In the Girls' Doubles event, Gayatri Vartak and GM Nischita won 13-21, 21-15, 21-11 against Sen Thi Nguyen and Nhi Phuong Nguyen Phung of Vietnam in the top section to set up a third round clash with Thai pair of Porntip Buranaprasertsuk and Nuttaya Sanlekanun.

But there was disappointment too as Nitya Sosale and Ashwini Ponappa lost to second seeds Wei Khe Woon and Ling Bee Ho of China 22-10, 14-21, 14-21.

UNI XC PM RK1500

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