Saina Nehwal progresses to semifinals at Australian Open

Modified 27 Jun 2014

Sydney, June 27 (IANS): While India's Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal marched into the women's singles semi-finals, compatriot P.V. Sindhu had to bite the dust as her campaign came to an end in the quarter-finals of the $750,000 Australian Badminton Open Super Series here Friday.

Sixth seed Saina needed only 47 minutes in the last-eight clash to oust Japan's Eriko Hirose 21-18, 21-9 to level her career head-to-head to 4-all.

Saina started in dominating fashion by taking an 8-2 lead but Eriko came back strongly to level the match (12-all). The Indian, however, came out with her best to tilt the game in her favour.

The World No. 8 totally dictated terms in the next game and needed only a few minutes before she won the encounter.

In the next match, the Hyderabadi will take on Chinese top seed Shixian Wang against whom she has a 4-3 lead. However, the Chinese World No. 2 has been in excellent form this year and has also won the last two matches against the Indian.

Later, eighth-seed Sindhu was doing well in her match against Spain's Carolina Marin by leading at the start. But from 16-13, it all went downhill for the World Championship bronze medallist. Carolina stamped her authority by taking initiative and won the next eight of the nine available points to bag the game.

The World No. 10 tried fighting back in the second game but the Spanish girl made sure she maintained the lead throughout and extended it to win the match 21-17, 21-17 in 47 minutes at the States Sports Centre.

This was the second match between the two, the last one fought three years ago in Maldives when Sindhu won.

Published 27 Jun 2014
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