Saina Nehwal was at her menacing best in the second round of the Malaysia Open, defeating Bae Yeon Ju in straight games Thursday. The score read 21-10, 21-16 as the India shuttler progressed to the quarterfinal of the competition.
It was a match where Saina showed her class with some delicate touches at the net, which caught the Korean on the backfoot, and the third-seed's inch-perfect smashes made her opponent look helpless. Overall, it was a quality performance from Saina, who is set to face Thailand's Porntip Buranapras in the round-of-eight.
Saina was ruthless in the first game, and in fact dominating the Korean player with her dazzling skills from both the front as well as the back end of the court. Saina did not give much of a chance to Bae Yeon in the first game, which was easy for the India player.
The initial stages of the second game passed in a similar fashion, as Saina dominated her opponent. Bae Yeon looked good in the second game, as she also played some strong badminton to push the India star, who finally won the match 21-16.
Saina has been impressive in the first two matches of the Malaysia Open, which has helped her reach the quarterfinal without much problems. But her major test is going to lie in the future rounds when the competition is going to be played at another level, which will test Saina's fitness as well.
The third-seed's injuries have been a cause of concern in recent times, and have led to slow movement. But the ongoing Malaysia Open has showed she is getting back to top fitness, moving in the court swiftly enough to trouble her opponents.
Earlier in the day, PV Sindhu had created a huge upset, defeating Sung Ji Hyun in the second round. The score read 22-20, 21-17. It was one of her best performances of 2016 as she used her smashes to good effect and stun the star player from South Korea. Sindhu has a tough quarterfinal opponent in the form of Ratchanok Intanon.