Saina Nehwal Enters Finals of Australian Open 2016 News Alert
Saina Nehwal defeated second seed Wang Yihan to enter the final of the Australian Open Badminton Championships while Kidambi Srikanth lost in the semi-final.
A day after coach Vimal Kumar termed her performance ‘perfect’, Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal dished out a similar show against Sun Yu to defeat the Chinese 11-21, 21-14, 21-19 and win the Australian Open Super Series Women’s title on Sunday at the Sydney Sports Centre. This is her second Australian Open win and with this, the World No. 8 has managed to claim her maiden title this season.
The win also rapidly improves her chances of a second consecutive podium finish at the Rio Olympics 2016. This was Saina’s first final after she lost to Li Xuerui in China last November. Saina had an impressive 5-1 record prior to the final, with their last encounter taking place in China last year. On Sunday, the Indian only took the lead further with a clinical display in the second and third game.
The London Olympic bronze medallist Indian will take on World No. 12 Sun Yu of China, who defeated third seed and compatriot Li Xuerui in the other semifinal.
Saina, who had won the Australian Open in 2014, has a 5-1 head-to-head record against Sun, who had upstaged the Indian once at the 2013 China Open.
In men’s singles, Kidambi Srikanth’s fight ended with a disappointing 20-22, 13-21 loss against Denmark’s Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in a 43-minute semifinal battle.
Saina Nehwal entered the final of the Australian Open Super Series by defeating second seed Wang Yihan.
Saina Nehwal overcame a poor start in the first game to defeat Sun Yu of China 11-21, 21-14, 21-19 in a match that lasted over an hour to clinch the Australian Open Super Series Badminton title in Sydney on Sunday. This was Saina’s second Australian Open title, having previously won in 2014.
Sun dished out a fast-paced game, which Saina failed to break initially. The Indian struggled with the length of the shuttle and committed a few unforced errors early on as the duo moved together till 4-4.
Saina missed a couple of points at the net and also hit wide to allow Sun a lead of 7-4. The Indian failed to connect and reach for a few returns which allowed Sun to extend the lead at 10-5. At the break, Sun lead 11-6 when Saina’s backhand return failed to cross the net.
Born: March 17, 1990 (age 26), Hisar district
Height: 1.65 m
Coach: U. Vimal Kumar
Awards: Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, more
Siblings: Abu Chandranshu Nehwal
Olympic medal: Badminton at the 2012 Summer Olympics – Women’s singles