Saina storms into Malaysian Open semis
India's Saina Nehwal fought her way into the semi-finals of the Malaysian Open Superseries badminton event, defeating Denmark's Tine Baun 21-13, 21-23, 21-13 in a last-eight match here yesterday.
Saina had defeated Baun in straight games to make it to the final of the World Superseries Finals last month but the match here turned out to be a much tighter affair, lasting close to an hour.
Saina maintained the lead through the first game after a tentative beginning against the sixth-ranked Baun. The Dane fought back in the second from a 10-14 deficit to earn herself two game points on 20-18. Saina took the next two points for deuce but Baun raised her play to level the match.
It was neck-to-neck in the decider before Saina took a comfortable 16-10 lead. The Hyderabadi World No 4 next takes on China's Wang Yihan, who beat compatriot Xuerui Li 21-13, 21-15 in their quarter-final yesterday.