Defending champion Saina Nehwal entered the women’s singles semifinals of the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier defeating Spaniard Carolina Marin at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta on Friday.
However, it was the end of the road for men’s singles shuttlers Ajay Jayaram and R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, who lost their respective quarterfinal matches.
It was considerably an easy outing for Saina, who won the tournament in 2009, 2010 and 2012, triumphing in her first ever encounter against Carolina. The World No.2, who had also reached the 2011 final, won 21-16, 21-19 in 39 minutes.
Saina took time to get into the groove in the first game rallying more than usual. But once she found her rhythm, the Indian found legs to move ahead into the lead and eventually win the game against the World No.27.
From 12-all, Saina bagged nine points to Carolina’s four, hitting more clear winners than her opponent. The Spaniard, however, matched her much experienced opponent when it came to smashes and also at the net.
The Spaniard was more formidable in the second game, leading from the start. Saina equalised the game at 10-all but Carolina again extended the lead.
From 16-15, the unseeded Spaniard then won three points to get closer to sealing the game. But Saina used all her experience by winning the next six points to bag the game and match.
In the semifinal, the Hyderabadi will face old rival and World No.3 Juliane Schenk of Germany. The second seeded Indian has a 8-3 head-to-head against the fourth seeded Juliane, having won the their last three meetings.
After an impressive win in the second round over Indonesian fourth seed Sony Dwi Kuncoro, Mumbai’s Jayaram lost to German Marc Zwiebler in the men’s singles quarterfinals.
Zwiebler beat Jayaram 21-16, 21-15 in 34 minutes to take a 2-1 lead in career meetings.
Indonesian World No.20 Tommy Sugiarto beat Gurusaidutt 19-21, 21-11, 21-10 in one hour and six minutes to increase his career-meet lead to 3-1 over the Indian.