Saina lone Indian semi-finalist in Badminton AsiaApril 16th, 2010 - 9:43 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, April 16 (IANS) Saina Nehwal cruised into the semi-finals of women’s singles with a facile victory over Malaysian Mew Choo Wong and is now the lone Indian survivor in the Badminton Asia Championships here Friday.
Saina, world No. 6, was in sublime touch as she dispatched Mew Choo Wong 21-5, 21-13 in just 28 minutes that brought much needed relief in the Indian camp after three disappointing defeats of its players early in the day at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Before Saina’s win, top-seeded mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Valiyaveetil Diju ran out of steam in the third game, losing eight points at a stretch, and went down to Chinese pair of Zihan Qiu and Qing Tian 21-15, 11-21, 14-21 in a 47-minute thriller at the same court.
Mutatkar’s dream run was also halted by a Chinese as she bowed out with a straight-set loss to unknown Chinese qualifier Xin Liu. Mutatkar, who pulled out two brilliant victories to make it to her first Badminton Asia quarter-finals, was no match for the Chinese and went down 14-21, 11-21.
India’s challenge in the men’s double also ended with Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas going down to Korean Sang Hoon Han and Ji Man Hwang 21-17, 16-21, 15-21.
The third seeded Indian pair looked in command in the first game but the Koreans picked up their game in the second to turn the tables. A stream of errors from the Indians cost them the match.
Saina, however, progressed with ease. She showed supple wrist and soft hand in the first game and raced ahead to 11-2 pocketing nine points in a row. The Malaysian had no answers to Saina’s drop shots.
In the second game Saina made an attacking start and surged 12-5. The deficit was too much for Malaysian, who closed the gap with Saina making some errors from the fast-end of the court. The Indian, however, quickly got her focus back and mixed her strokes well with varying pace to seal the match.
Saina will meet Chinese qualifier Xuerui Li, who beat Japanese Ayane Kuhihara 17-21, 21-16, 21-14. Liu will take on second seed Hong Kong’s Mi Zhou, who beat fifth seeded Thailand’s Salakjit Ponsana 23-21, 21-17.
In the men’s singles draw, second seed and World Champion Lin Dan made short work of compatriot Yun Hu 21-11, 21-10 to set-up a clash with Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana, who beat Malaysian Muhammad Hafiz Hashim 21-19, 17-21, 21-10.
In the other men’s semi-final, All England Championships semi-finalist Japanese Kenichi Tago, seeded sixth, will take on Chinese Zhengming Wang.
Zhengming defeated Japanese Shoji Sato 21-14, 21-18 while Tago beat Taufik Hidayat slayer Hsuan Yi Hsueh 21-13, 21-16.
Earlier, Mutatkar, who is coming back from a knee injury, never looked like putting up a fight with the Chinese mixing her strokes.
“I just could not keep pace with the pace of the game. She was stronger and very fast. I was reading her shots but was not able to retrieve,” she said.
The Chinese broke away from 8-8 to take the lead and then consolidated from there.
Mutatkar made a string of errors in judging the flight of the shuttle in the second game that saw the Chinese raced ahead 4-1. The Indian then slowly came from behind and seemed like catching up with her opponent. But Xin’s deceptive drop shots caught Mutatkar unawares.
Mutatkar best point was when she won the longest rally with a fine drop shot from the mid-court to make it 9-13. But from there on she again made too many errors.
Rupesh and Sanave made a good start but made mistakes as crucial juncture in the decider.
“We made some silly mistakes and that cost us the match,” said Rupesh.
“Everything went right for us in the first game. We wanted to keep the shuttle down because the Koreans are very fast and attacking players. But we made errors in the second game and at a crucial time in the third as well.” he said.
- China Open: Saina, Jayaram, Kashyap lose in first round - Nov 23, 2011
- Chinese power on show at Asian badminton - Apr 17, 2010
- Badminton Asia: Saina, Aditi in women's singles quarters (Roundup) - Apr 15, 2010
- CWG badminton: India win silver in mixed team event - Oct 08, 2010
- Saina, Aditi in quarters, Kashyap falters in Badminton Asia Championships (Lead) - Apr 15, 2010
- Erratic Saina loses, Indian challenge ends at Badminton Asia Championships (Lead) - Apr 17, 2010
- India Open badminton: Saina knocked out in prequarters (Lead) - Apr 26, 2012
- India Open Super Series: Sourabh, Sai Datt keep India's hopes alive (Lead) - Apr 28, 2011
- Asian Games badminton: Saina, Sridhar advance, Kashyap out (Second Lead) - Nov 17, 2010
- Asian badminton: Ajay Jayaram goes down fighting - Apr 18, 2012
- CWG Badminton: Saina, Kashyap storm into semifinals (Roundup) - Oct 12, 2010
- India Open Super Series: Saina makes a tearful first round exit (Roundup) - Apr 27, 2011
- CWG badminton: Saina enters women's singles final - Oct 12, 2010
- Saina enters Indian Open prequarters - Apr 25, 2012
- CWG badminton: Gallant India go down to Malaysia, settle for silver (Lead) - Oct 09, 2010
Tags: brilliant victories, drop shots, first game, gap, gutta, hwang, indian pair, jwala, koreans, mixed doubles, qing tian, quarter finals, rupesh, saina, second game, semi finalist, semi finals, siri, sports complex, third game