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Indonesia Masters 2019: Saina Nehwal sets up final showdown with Carolina Marin

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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27 Jan 2019, 10:15 IST

Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal

Indian shuttle queen Saina Nehwal produced a valiant fight to reach the final of the Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2019 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Saturday. The eighth seed fought back from a game down to beat the sixth seed and World No. 7 He Bingjiao 18-21, 21-12, 21-18 in a semi-final that lasted 58 minutes.

Up next for Nehwal is a tough showdown with the reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin. The fifth seed too had to claw her way back from a game down to register a gutsy 17-21, 21-11, 23-21 win over the third seed and World No. 5 Chen Yufei.

Marin and Nehwal will meet for the second time in as many weeks. Last week her campaign at the Malaysia Masters was ended by none other than the left-handed Spaniard who eventually finished as the runner-up to Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon.

This is the second consecutive year that Nehwal reached the final of this Super 500 tournament. Last year she rode on a series of giant-killing wins to make it through to the summit clash where she went down to World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying.

While Saina has been able to show a lot of consistency by reaching a final and a semi-final in her first couple of BWF events of the year, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have had early exits. Srikanth failed to cross the quarter-final hurdle at both the Malaysia Masters and the Indonesia Masters.

In Kuala Lumpur he succumbed to the eventual champion Son Wan Ho in three games. A week later in Jakarta, he fell at the hands of the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan Christie.

Sindhu returned to action in Indonesia this week a month after triumphing at the BWF World Tour Finals. It did not go very well for the India No. 1 for she suffered a straight-game loss to Marin in the quarter-finals.

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