PV Sindhu and K Srikanth eased into the quarter-finals of the Malaysia Open on Thursday, while Saina Nehwal crashed out in the second round.

Nehwal lost to world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi 15-21, 13-21 in just 36 minutes. This was Nehwal’s sixth straight loss to the Japanese in seven meetings. The only time Nehwal had defeated Yamaguchi was at the 2014 China Open.

Yamaguchi, who had struggled a bit against Nehwal during their last meeting at the Uber Cup in May, started the match well, taking a 9-2 lead as she made the Indian move around the court.

Nehwal fought back briefly after the interval, winning five straight points from 5-11 down to make it 10-11, but then fluffed her lines as the Japanese opened up a lead again. Yamaguchi won the first game easily in the end.

In the second game, from 2-2, Yamaguchi won 10 of the next 11 points, missing only one smash, as she again took a sizeable lead. From 3-12 down, there was no way Nehwal was going to find a way back, as Yamaguchi closed out the game and match comfortably.

While Yamaguchi looked at the top of her game, Nehwal was barely out of third gear throughout the match and did not really try to challenge the Japanese.

World No 7 Srikanth started off really well against the 15th-ranked Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei, taking a 14-6 lead in the first game. However, the Indian let his guard down briefly after that, committing a few unforced errors and let Wang back into the game.

Srikanth had two game points at 20-18 but lost both of them to make it 20-20, before he managed to win the next two points and close out the game. Srikanth did not give his opponent a chance in the second game, however, as he switched on his A-game again and won it easily 21-12 to seal his progress to quarters.

World No 3 Sindhu, meanwhile, recorded a comfortable 21-8, 21-14 win against the 39th-ranked Malaysian Ying Ying Lee.

With inputs from PTI