Saina Nehwal beat 14th seeded Sayaka Takahashi of Japan 21-18, 21-14 to enter the quarter finals of the BWF World Championships in Jakarta on Thursday.
Following up on her strong performance against Cheung Ngan Yi in the round of 32, Saina beat Takahashi in 46 minutes, in a match which saw the Japanese shuttler actually lead 7-0 in the first game. Making a strong recovery, the game went to 18-18, from where Saina won the points that mattered.
In the second game, the scores were locked at 13 - 13, but Saina pulled away to win with a seven point lead in the game 21-14 owing to her superior foresight and better court movement.
Takahashi has historically been a tough opponent for Saina. In the world championships in Copenhagen last year, she faced a tough fight from her in a three set match which she eventually won. Today's win against her keeps Saina in the hunt for a maiden podium finish at the World Championships, where she has underperformed in previous outings.
Saina is likely to face sixth seed Chinese Wang Yihan in the quarter finals.