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Saina storms into Indonesian Open Super Series semi-finals

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 25, 2010 19:27 IST
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Defending champion Saina Nehwal overcame an opening game deficit to reach the semi-finals of the Indonesian Open badminton tournament and stay on course for back-to-back Super Series titles in Jakarta on Friday.

Saina, who on Thursday jumped three spots to third in the world rankings after winning the Singapore Super Series, looked rusty against Ella Diehl of Russia in the first game and did the catch up job from the start before losing it 17-21.

The top seeded Indian, however, shrugged off the initial rustiness and stamped her authority over her opponent in the next two games by using to telling effect her superiority in smashes and long rallies.

Saina and the eight seeded Russian were neck-and-neck at 5-4 before the Indian pressed the accelerator in the second to take it 21-11. 

In the decider, Saina took a 6-0 lead, and though the Russian reduced the gap to 13-10, the Indian ran away with the game 21-16 and the match in 58 minutes. 

In the semi-finals on Saturday, Saina will meet fourth seeded Eriko Hirose of Japan, who beat fifth seeded Jie Yao of the Netherlands 21-19, 10-21, 22-20 in another quarter-final match.

Saina is the only Indian women left in the fray in singles, as compatriot Aditi Mutatkar crashed out in the first round.

In the men's section, no Indian is left in the fray, Ajay Jayaram, Chetan Anand and Parupalli Kashyap and Gurusaidatt RM Venkata already out of the singles competition.

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