Saina Nehwal beats Wang Yihan to enter the Semifinal of All England Badminton Championships
Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal produced a dominating performance over her Chinese opponent Wang Yihan to enter the semifinal of the Yonex All England Badmintoon Championships.
World No. 3 Saina Nehwal, who was having a win-loss record of 1-8 against the World No. 5 Wang prior to this match looked in supreme touch as she thrashed her rival in a quarterfinal match which lasted for just 39 minutes.
Saina initiated the match on a positive note as she grabbed the first two points but Wang fought back strongly to clinch the next six points in a row. Saina lost few points due to miscued strokes but the third seeded Indian clawed her way back to go into the mid game interval with just a point behind.
Saina, who won the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold title earlier this year changed her tactics after the interval as she started attacking a lot more and also returned her rival's attempted smashes with quiet an intensity. From 13 all Saina reeled the next five points in quick succession to take a strong lead.
Leading 20-16, Saina failed to convert the first three game point opportunities but was fortunate enough to convert the decisive one as Wang lobbed a shuttle wide.
The next game was a completely one-sided affair as Saina didn’t give her opponent even a single chance to come close. 27-year old Wang, who is a former World and Asian Champion was completely outclassed by her higher ranked opponent in the second game as she lost the intital eight points in a row. Saina was completely dominating the net play as she tamed the former World No. 1 with her deft net and drop shots.
This lead proved to be very crucial for the 24-year old Indian shuttler as she managed to hold on to it till the end and won game with ease by a score of 21-6.
This is the first time when Saina has defeated Wang in a complete match. The only time she has beaten Wang came via a retirement in the semifinals of 2012 Denmark Open. Saina will next play another Chinese ace and World No. 18 Yu Sun for a place in finals.
Sun, who upstaged the World No. 1 and reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the second round defeated the World ranked 8 Thai shuttler Intanon Ratchanok 11-21 21-19 19-13 (Ret) in a thrilling quarterfinal which lasted for an hour and 17 minutes.