Star Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stunned World Number 2 Akane Yamaguchi in two straight sets of Super Level 750 tournament played at Odense Park, Denmark on Thursday. It was an outstanding performance by Saina, who showed great fighting spirit, and defeated the strong Japanese player.
In the first game, Yamaguchi got off to a perfect start taking an early 4-0 lead. Saina made a strong comeback into the game, taking 6 successive points. Both players took alternate points till 10-10. Saina Nehwal had a slender lead of 11-10 at the interval. After the interval, the Indian played aggressive badminton, and did not allow Yamaguchi to play her natural game. Nehwal won the first game 21-15.
The second set also began in the same way as the first one with Yamaguchi taking an early 4-0 lead. Saina Nehwal made a strong comeback to reduce the margin. At the interval, the Japanese led 11-8. After the interval, the Indian played with aggression and levelled scores at 12-12. It was a great display by Saina, who dominated Yamaguchi after the interval. She won the second set 21-17 to move into the quarter finals.
Nehwal will take on Okuhara in the quarter finals. The Indian lost to Okuhara in the Korea Open event, and will be seeking revenge.
Sai Praneeth lost in the first round to China's Huang in three games. Praneeth won the first game 21-12, before losing the next two sets 14-21, 15-21 to be knocked out of the tournament. K Srikanth will take on Lin Dan in the 2nd round today, while Sameer Verma will also take on Jonathan Christie in the 2nd round.
Saina Nehwal has been in good form this year, and will be looking to prove her worth in tomorrow’s match against Okuhara.