Bangkok, June 1 (IANS) Title contenders Saina Nehwal and B. Sai Praneeth advanced to the quarter-finals of the $1,20,000 Thailand Open badminton tournament after notching up straight-game victories in the women’s and men’s singles competition respectively here on Thursday.

Second seed Saina outclassed Ying Ying Lee of Malaysia 21-11 21-14 in a 40-minute match to set up a clash with Japanese qualifier Haruko Suzuki.

Praneeth also dished out a dominating show to thrash ninth seed Malaysian Iskandar Zulkarnain 21-13 21-18. The third seeded Indian will now face Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen on Friday.

However, it was curtains for Sourabh Verma and Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka in men’s and women’s singles competition.

The 12th seeded Sourabh fought hard before going down narrowly 16-21 25-23 11-21 to fifth-seeded Brice Leverdez of France while Sai Uttejitha Rao lost 15-21 17-21 to Pattarasuda Chaiwan of Thailand.

In mixed doubles, Prajakta Sawant and her Malaysian partner Yogendran Khrishnan lost 10-21 9-21 to top seeds Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai of Thailand.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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