Saina enters Malaysia Open semis
Kuala Lumpur, April 3 (IANS) World No.1 Saina Nehwal beat Chinese Sun Yu 21-11, 18-21, 21-17 to reach the semi-finals of the $500,000 Malaysia Open Superseries Premier at the Putra Stadium here on Friday.
Saina was in her elements from the beginning. she hardly broke into a sweat before capturing the first game 21-11. After zooming to a 12-4 lead, it was easy for the 25-year-old Indian.
But in the second game, World No.15 Sun showed her grit and fought her way back. She raced to a 7-1 advantage and Saina chased the game before six straight points helped her equalise at 14-point mark. However, Sun kept her calm to take the second game 21-18.
Saina controlled the third game from the start. Relying on a strong array of strokes and sharp movement inside the court, the Hyderabadi enjoyed 11-7 lead at the break.
Sun fired seven points on the trot to level the game at 14-all and even held a 17-16 lead before Saina asserted herself and grabbed five consecutive points to snatch the game 21-17.
With this win in an hour and 11 minutes, Saina, who last week won the India Open, took a 3-1 lead over the 21-year-old Sun in career meetings.
In the next match on Saturday, Olympic bronze medallist Saina will meet reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui, who battled past former World champion Yihan Wang 14-21, 21-15, 21-12 in 55 minutes.