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Saina enters India Open semis; Sindhu ousted

Saina-Nehwal

New Delhi: India’s premier badminton star Saina Nehwal orchestrated a fight back to beat Sung Ji Hyun in the quarter-finals, but compatriot P.V. Sindhu crashed out of the $300,000 India Open Superseries at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here on Friday.

Defending champion Saina lost the first game 19-21 before making it 1-1 with spectacular and dominating shuttle play. She registered 21-14 and 21-19 in the final two games of the match that lasted an hour and 23 minutes.

With this win, world No.6 Saina improved her head-to-head record against the No.8 South Korean to 6-1.

In the other semi-final, double World Championship bronze medallist Sindhu lost to Bae Yeon Ju of South Korea 21-15, 15-21, 15-21 in an hour and 21 minutes.

World No.15 Bae has now taken a 3-1 lead in head-to-head records against No.11 Sindhu.

In another disappointing news, India’s surprising women’s doubles pair of Mohita Sahdev and Sanjana Santosh were thrashed 8-21, 2-21 by Japan’s Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao.

With the loss of Sindhu and Mohita-Sanjana, Saina remains the only Indian in the tournament.

However, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina’s title defence will face a great Chinese wall when she will face Olympic champion and world No.2 Li Xuerui, who holds a 10-2 advantage in career meetings against the 2015 World Championship runner-up.

Xuerui advanced to the final four stage with a battling 22-20, 12-21, 21-17 win over her compatriot Shixian Wang.

In the other women’s singles quarter-final, former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand defeated Chinese Taipei’ Tai Tzu Ying 12-21, 21-14, 22-20 in 58 minutes. World No.5 Ratchanok will face Bae.

Meanwhile in the men’s singles semi-finals, Japan’s Kento Momota will face China’s Xue Song and in the other contest, Danish Viktor Axelsen will be up against South Korean Wan Ho Son.

–IANS

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