Saina Nehwal will clash with China's Wang Shixian in the quarterfinals of the French Open women's singles badminton championship on Friday night. Both players sailed through their pre-quarterfinal matches with contrasting wins. In the men's singles quarterfinals, India's Parupalli Kashyap will clash with China's Wang Zhengming.
Saina is the tournament's fifth seed while Wang is seed No. 2. Saina had lost to the Chinese in quarterfinals of the Denmark Open recently and tonight's clash in Paris will be a grudge match for the Indian under new coach Vimal Kumar since the Asian Games.
In the second round, Saina defeated Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour 21-19, 2-16. Wang defeated Japan's Sayaka Takahashi 16-21, 21-15, 21-16. If Saina defeats Wang, she is expected to run into third seed Wang Yihan, who will clash with USA's Zhang Beiwen in the quarters.
Kashyap has kept India's hopes alive in the men's singles section even after top-ranked Kidambi Srikanth made a quick exit losing to Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark 20-22, 14-21. Unseeded Kashyap will clash with fifth-seeded Zhengming after defeating China's Tian Houwei 21-19, 21-18.
The brand new Indo-Russian mixed doubles team of Ashwini Ponnappa and Vladimir Ivanov have bowed out. In Round 2, the pair won the second game but failed to stop seventh-seeded Chinese pair of Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong 21-8, 18-21, 21-9.