Rio-bound Saina Nehwal stormed into the final of the $75,000 Australian Open Super Series with a stunning straight-game victory over fourth-seeded Yihan Wang. Saina, ranked seventh in the world badminton rankings, beat her Chinese opponent Wang 21-8, 21-12 in the semi-finals on Saturday in Sydney.
Saina will now face Sun Yu of China in the final on Sunday. Yu got the better off her compatriot Li Xuerui 21-18, 21-19 in the second semi-final in 46 minutes.
Saina, who won the match in just 31 minutes, started off in style as she won the first game in quick time. Wang fought back in the second game but had to surrender against the might of Saina.
It was heartbreak for India in the men’s singles event as Kidambi Srikanth lost to Denmark’s Vittinghus Hans-Kristian 20-22, 13-21 in the semi-finals after putting up a great fight.
After Kidambi Srikanth’s disappointing loss in the Men’s Singles, it is now up to Saina to ensure that at least one Indian make it to the final of the Australian Open on Sunday. However, the task won’t be so easy for the World No.8, who will be up against an opponent who has been a nemesis of hers for a very long time- China’s Wang Yihan.You can catch all the LIVE updates here.
The two have played one another on 15 occasions across competitions and the Yihan has defeated in 11 of those matches, including a win over the Indian at the London Olympics in 2012. However, in recent times, Saina has got the better of Yihan, beating her at the All England as well as the World Championships last year and also in the semi-final stage of the competition at the China Superseries Premier last October.
The last meeting between the two was at the Badminton Asia Championships, where Yihan beat Saina in the semis 21-14 21-16. Can the Indian avenge that defeat or will Yihan win her 12th match against Saina? We will know soon.
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