While India's top shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap reached the $250,000 India Open Super Series quarterfinals in contrasting styles, their compatriots found the going hard as all others lost their respective matches here on Thursday.
Eighth seed Saina needed only 35 minutes to breeze past Thai Natcha Saengchote 21-15, 21-12 in their first match. Later, Kashyap beat compatriot R.M.V. Gurusaidutt 21-15, 16-21, 21-11 in 59 minutes in a Round 2 encounter at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Women's singles World No.8 Saina looked in prime form as she moved well on court, pacing her opponent throughout the match. After clinching seven straight points to bag the first game, the Hyderabadi dominated the second game and finished off with an irretrievable cross-court smash.
The Indian made a few unforced errors while trying to push the pace in the initial stages but took control of the rallies by keeping the shuttle deep.
The Olympic bronze medallist next faces a tough match against former World Champion and third seed Yihan Wang of China, who has a 7-1 record against Saina.
"This match was tough but the next one will be tougher. I don't have a great record against Yihan. But it is not just her; all Chinese players are difficult to play. To beat her I will have to be faster and my strokes should also be accurate," said Saina.
Meanwhile in men's singles, Kashyap equalled his head-to-head against Guru to two-all and will next face Malaysian top seed and defending champion Lee Chong Wei, who eased past Sourabh Varma 21-9, 21-6 in 23 minutes.
"I lost my rhythm in the second game as I started attacking too much and lost my energy. We spar with each other while training so we know each other's game. That is why it is always difficult for me to beat him. He has beaten me twice so it was good to beat him," Kashyap said.
"It will be a tough match Friday. Lee has a rock solid defence. I played him last year in France but lost. I have to control the speed of the match and keep the rallies going to have a chance against him," added Kashyap, who has never won even a game in his past three meetings with the World No.1.
Meanwhile, Indonesian Aprilla Yuswandari took 29 minutes to beat former national champion Trupti Murgunde 21-13, 21-12 in women's singles. Another ex-national winner Sayali Gokhale went down 15-21, 8-21 to South Korean fifth seed Yeon Ju Bae.
Earlier, India's challenge in women doubles came to an end when Chinese fifth seeds Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao got past India's Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-13, 21-19 in 37 minutes.
Second round results (Only Indians):
Men's singles: Parupalli Kashyap beat R.M.V. Gurusaidutt 21-15, 16-21, 21-11; 1-Lee Chong Wei beat Sourabh Varma 21-9, 21-6.
Women's singles: Aprilla Yuswandari beat Trupti Murgunde 21-13, 21-12; 8-Saina Nehwal beat Natcha Saengchote 21-15, 21-12; 5-Yeon Ju Bae beat Sayali Gokhale 21-15, 21-8.
Women's doubles: 1-Christinna Pedersen and Kamilla Rytter Juhl beat Dhanya Nair and Mohita Sahdev 21-4, 21-9; 5-Qing Tian and Yunlei Zhao beat Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa 21-13, 21-19.