Saina enters India Open semis

New Delhi, April 1 (IANS) India’s premier badminton star Saina Nehwal orchestrated a fight back to beat Sung Ji Hyun in the quarter-finals 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.

However, 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 the winner between Indian sensation P.V. Sindhu and Bae Yeon Ju of South Korea.

However, it was curtains for India’s surprising women’s doubles pair of Mohita Sahdev and Sanjana Santosh, who were thrashed 8-21, 2-21 by Japan’s Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao.

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.

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