Bangkok - India’s badminton star Saina Nehwal Friday sailed into the women’s semi-finals of the Thailand Open Grand Prix here with a straight games victory over Thai Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Saina, who is the top seed in this year’s tournament, beat her eighth-seeded opponent 21-10, 22-20 in just 42 minutes. She will next play the winner of the match between Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara and third seeded Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand Saturday.
The Indian started on the front foot, taking eight straight points to open up an 8-0 lead. She then dominated the rest of the game not giving the Thai shuttler any chance.
Taerattanachai, to her credit, fought back fiercely in the second game, winning six consecutive points and holding a narrow lead over the Indian. But then Saina slowly narrowed the gap and, with the game hanging in the balance at 19-19, the top seed won three straight points to book her seat in the semis.
The world No.5 remains in contention to win her second title of the season after defending her title at the Swiss Open Grand Prix in March in Basel, early this year.