All England Open 2019: Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth advance to quarterfinals

AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein

Ninth-seeded Saina Nehwal came from behind to beat Line Kjaersfeldt of Denmark 8-21, 21-16, 21-13 to advance to the All England Open quarterfinals in Birmingham on Thursday.

Saina, who was a runner-up to Carolina Marin at the tournament in 2015, is the only Indian woman left in the draw, after PV Sindhu's shock defeat in the opening round on Wednesday.

Saina had won both her previous meetings against Kjaersfeldt in international badminton -- in fact, she had only dropped a game once at the French Open in 2017, before a straight-games win at the India Open in 2018.

Kjaersfeldt took the opening game against Saina and also led in the early stages of the second, before the Indian mounted a spirited fightback in the second game, winning four of five points after conceding a 10-11 deficit into the mid-game interval. Kjaersfeldt kept the gap within touching distance for large parts of the game, but Saina needed just two game points to claim the second game.

The third game saw a more controlled performance from Saina, who led 11-7 at the mid-game break and never allowed her opponent to reclaim lost ground.

Srikanth through to his first-ever All England quarterfinal

Meanwhile, Kidambi Srikanth booked his maiden All England quarterfinal berth with a 21-17, 11-21, 21-12 win against Jonatan Christie of Indonesia.

Eighth-ranked Srikanth, who was knocked out in the second round in two of the last three editions of the tournament, seemed on course for a comfortable win with the opening game, but stuttered to allow his opponent an opening in the second. Christie, however, seemed to suffer from blisters in his feet, for which he needed treatment between games as well, and failed to keep up with Srikanth's pace in the deciding game.

Earlier, B Sai Praneeth's All England campaign in men's singles came to an end, with Angus Long Ng Ka of Hong Kong beating him 21-12, 21-17.