Orleans Masters: Saina Nehwal defeated Mary Batomen, enters quarter finals

New Delhi: Saina Nehwal entered the quarterfinals of the Orleans Masters 2021 tournament on Thursday (March 25) after a win against Mary Betomen. Nehwal lost the first game 18–21 to their French rival, but won the latter by re-establishing their command in both subsequent games.

Former world No.1 badminton, Saina Nehwal entered the second round of the tournament after winning 21-9 21-5 against Irish counterpart Rachel Daragah on Wednesday.

The Indian fourth seed, who is also a London Olympics bronze medalist, will now face either Yale Hoyaks of France or Iris Wang of Malaysia in the next round at the Palais des Sports in France.

Meanwhile, young star Ira Sharma also joined Nehwal in the final eight of the Orleans Masters after a win over Bulgarian shuttler Maria Mitsova from 21–18, 21–13. Ira Sharma was promoted to the women’s singles main draw after a top women’s singles badminton player withdrew from the competition.

India have more chances for the title in the men’s singles category. Former world No.1 Kidambi Srikanth is set to make it to the quarter-finals of the men’s singles in Chiam Jun V, Malaysia.

Veteran Indian shuttlers Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy got the walkover in the women’s doubles category. Ponnappa will appear in action, later on Thursday, when she will appear in mixed doubles with his Dhruv Kapila.

(With agency inputs)