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Saina Nehwal beats Wang Yihan to reach the semifinals of the BWF World Championships

Saina Nehwal progressed to the last four of the BWF World Championships with a three game win over Wang Yihan.

Saina Nehwal in action against Wang Yihan in the quarterfinals of the BWF World championships

Saina Nehwal beat Wang Yihan 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 to reach the semifinal of the BWF World Championships in Jakarta.

Yihan got off to a superb start as she led 3-1 thanks to two forehand errors from Nehwal and a smash of her own. The Chinese went for her shots off the forehand wing and extended the lead to 6-3 with two winners. Nehwal turned the tables on Yihan with an amazing drop shot and an unforced error from Yihan meant Nehwal had a slender lead 11-10 at the interval.

Nehwal took control of the first game by putting more pressure on Yihan’s serve extracting errors from her in the process. Yihan netted her backhand off the service return to give Nehwal her first game point, which she converted with a superb forehand smash.

Yihan bounced back as errors increased off Saina’s racket

Yihan opened up a 4-1 lead at the beginning of the second game. Nehwal came back brilliantly thanks to couple of forehand winners that caught Yihan off guard. Couple of backhand errors from the Indian meant scores were level at 7-7. 

It was Nehwal who led 11-8 at the interval when Yihan sent her two forehands long. A superb over the head smash extended Nehwal’s lead to 13-9. Yihan w.on eight points in a row using the same tactics she used early on in the opening game, by going for her smashes on the forehand side. Nehwal stopped the rot with two points off her own with a deftly placed drop shot and a smash which Yihan netted. 

Nehwal hung in the game with a backhand overhead shot that just about found the line to reduce the deficit to 16-19. Yihan brought her first game point with a brilliant forehand smash. The Indian saved two game points when Yihan netted her forehand and hit a forehand long, but a overhead smash by the Chinese helped her level scores at one game apiece.

Saina’s aggression helped her close out the match

It was a tough battle in the third game as both players went for their shots to take an early lead. It was Yihan again who surged ahead 7-4 despite two outstanding forehand winners by the Indian. A forehand smash by Nehwal, two forehand unforced errors by Yihan helped Nehwal level scores at 8-8. A forehand smash off a weak serve by Nehwal helped Yihan lead 11-10 at the final interval.

After couple of forehand winners from either player, Nehwal levelled scores at 14-14 with well placed drop shots. A superb backhand dropshot by Nehwal brought the score to 17-15 in Yihan’s favour. Two forehand smashes helped the Indian level scores at 18-18.

Nehwal brought up match point with a well placed forehand smash to Yihan’s backhand. She wrapped up the match with a forehand smash that Yihan sent long.

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