Millennium Post

Saina, K Srikanth storm into finals

Saina, K Srikanth storm into finals
Olympic bronze medal winner Saina Nehwal (in pic) and young shuttler K Srikanth stormed into the finals of the women’s and men’s singles events, respectively, at the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier on Saturday.

In her sixth appearance in the prestigious tournament, Saina continued her rampaging run as she produced another good show to outclass world no. 17 Liu Xin of China 21-17, 21-17 in the women’s singles semifinals that lasted 47 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sport Centre.  The world no. 5 Indian will take on the winner of match between fifth seed Bae Yeon Ju of Korea and Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, in the summit clash on Sunday.

World no. 16 Srikanth too set up a mouth-watering finale with two-time Olympic and five-time world Champion Lin Dan after his opponent in the men’s singles semifinal, Marc Zwiebler of Germany, retired midway with the score reading 21-11, 13-7 in the Indian’s favour. In the women’s singles semifinal, Saina took time to get going initially as Liu opened up a slender 7-4 lead but the Indian soon clawed back and went into the interval with a narrow 11-10 lead. She came out all guns blazing after that to create a huge 19-13 gap. The Chinese girl reeled off four points to reduce the margin but the Indian soon pocketed the first game.

In the second game, Liu once again marched ahead 5-2 but Saina didn’t take much time to draw level and enter the break with a two-point lead. At 14-14, Liu fell prey to a series of unforced errors as Saina soon moved to a three-point cushion. Liu once again hit wide helping Saina clinch her place in the final.
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