Indian ace Saina Nehwal progressed to the quarterfinals of the USD 600,000 Korea Open after seeing off South Korea's Kim Ga Eun in straight sets at the BWF World Tour Super 500 tournament on Thursday.
The 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 the women's singles pre-quarterfinal, in an encounter that lasted 37 minutes.
Fifth seed Saina will now cross swords with 2017 world champion and third seed Nozomi Okuhara. Saina has enjoyed a better measure of 6-3 head-to-head count against the Japanese, but the last two meetings between the two has seen Sania suffer back-to-back defeats.
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 fightback. Saina had reached the final of Indonesia Masters in January and the only tournament she won was the Commonwealth Games in April, beating compatriot PV Sindhu in the final at Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, if reports are to be belived, Saina Nehwal is all set to tie the knot with Indian men's badminton star Parupalli Kashyap by the end of December 2018. As per reports, the wedding will take place on December 16, and is said to be an extremely private affair with 100 people in attendance. The bigger celebrations are said to take place later followed by a grand reception on December 21, as reported.
The rumoured couple will be following the footsteps of badminton couples which comprise of Susy Susanti and Alan Budikusuma, Lin Dan and Xie Xingfang, Madhumita Goswami and Vikram Singh Bhist, Syed Modi and Ameeta Kulkarni to name a few.