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Saina creates history in All England Badminton Championship

Last updated on: March 13, 2010 19:03 IST

Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman to reach the semi-finals of the All England Super Series badminton championship when she defeated German Juliane Schenk in straight games in the quarter-finals in London.

The world number seven Indian beat Juliane 21-8, 21-14 in just 27 minutes to set up a tough semi-final clash with former world number one Tine Rasmussen of Denmark at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.

Rasmussen beat world champion and sixth seed Lan Lu 16-21, 23-21, 21-11 in the first quarter-final.

"It is a fantastic victory," said former All England champion and national chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand.

Asked about the semi-final match to be played late on Saturday, Gopi Chand said Saina should have an edge, even though the Indian has a 0-2 record against Rasmussen.

"Saina is a much improved player than last year. She has been working on her strokes. She has the edge over Rasmussen," said Gopi Chand.

The Hyderabadi sensation had beaten Judith Meulendijks of the Netherlands and Korean Seung Hee Bae in the first two rounds before getting past Juliane in the quarter-finals.

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