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Saina Nehwal enters final of India Grand Prix Gold

Nehwal beats China's Xuan Deng to reach her first final in 15 months; sets up title clash with PV Sindhu

Lucknow: India’s two star shuttlers Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have set up a blockbuster women’s singles summit clash after registering hard-fought semi-final victories at the $120,000 India Grand Prix Gold here on Saturday.

Saina Nehwal. Pic/AFP
Saina Nehwal. Pic/AFP

This is Saina’s first final since the French Open Super Series in October 2012 where she lost the summit clash to Japan’s Minatsu Mitani. Saina ousted China’s sixth seed Xuan Deng 21-14, 17-21, 21-19 in an hour and 20 minutes.

Got a bit emotional: Saina
“If you play too aggressively, it can break down your concentration and against Chinese players, you need to be patient because they can change the pace of the game anytime. So I had to fight it out for the win,” said Saina.

“This match was very important as I reached a final after a long time. I got a bit emotional at the end. I had lost some very close games recently so I was patiently playing for each and every point which eventually helped me win,” the World No 9 added.

Srikanth in final
Meanwhile, sixth seed Kidambi Srikanth also had to fight it out in the men’s singles semi-final against friend and seventh seed HS Prannoy, beating him 21-18, 22-20 in 50 minutes.

Second seed Sindhu took sweet revenge of her last year final’s loss by packing off defending champion and Indonesian fourth seed Lindaweni Fanetri 21-6, 12-21, 21-17 in an hour and two minutes to take a 4-2 lead in career meetings. 

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