Saina in semis: Sweats it out

Published on April 03, 2015 19:53:26 PM
Sports
Kuala Lumpur: Indian Grandmaster Saina Nehwal, who was recently crowned as World No. 1, today defeated China's Sun Yu to achieve the women’s singles semifinal rounds of Malaysia Open Super Series Premier badminton competition here today.

The third seeded Indian squeezed out a 21-11 18 21-17 win over Sun in a quarterfinal clash that kept going for an hour and 11 minutes at the Putra Stadium.

The young lady from Hyderabad will next clash with Olympic champion Li Xuerui, who had withdrawn from the BWF World Super tournament a year ago because of an injury and also skipped India Super Series a week ago.
The two-time World Championship silver medallist has successfully defeated Saina eight times, while the Indian beat her twice - once amid the 2010 Singapore Open and then at 2012 Indonesia Open.

The Olympic bronze medallist, who had a 2-1 record going into today's match, stamped her authority right from the beginning as she did not give the Chinese any tranquil points.

Overflowing with confidence after her India Open victory and rising to World No.1, Saina zoomed ahead to 12-4 with an eight-point burst and never turned back. He snatched the first game rather comfortably.

The World No.15 Sun, however, made a flying start in the second game, opening up a 7-1 lead at an early stage however Saina soon coped up with the Chinese at 14-14. Sun then gradually began to distance herself from the Indian and made an effective return to the match.

Saina, who was shocked, improved in the blink of an eye and surged to an 11-4 lead at the break in the decider. After the intermission, Sun reeled off seven straight points from 8-14 to wrest a thin lead. The team struggled till 17-17 before the Indian thrashed the door on the Chinese with four points on the run.

Saina has been having some fantastic luck after winning the China Open a year ago. She secured the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, came to the finals of All England Championship, before winning the India Super Series a week ago.