Saina Nehwal enters semifinals of Malaysian Super Series

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 12:47 hrs

Kuala Lumpur: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal survived a scare from lower-ranked Japanese Nozomi Okuhara before advancing to the semifinals of the Malaysian Super Series in the women's singles competition on Friday.

The top seed Saina dropped a game after having an early advantage but with Nozomi retiring early on in the third game, the Indian cemented her place into the last four stage with a 21-11, 14-21, 2-0 win in a 43-minute contest.

She will next take on the winner between two-time All England champion Tine Baun and sixth seed Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei on Saturday.

The Hyderabadi girl dominated the proceedings from the very beginning. After opening up a 3-0 lead, she not only maintained it but also slowly and steadily widened the gap to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second game, however, Nozomi got her act together and gave Saina a taste of her own medicine as she zoomed to a 9-1 lead and eventually made it 14-1 as Saina's game crumbled.

The Indian tried to narrow the gap but it was too much of a gulf to bridge. In the decider though, Nozomi retired due to a troubled knee while she was lagging 0-2, to hand over a victory to Saina.

In the first game, she was lagging 2-6 behind but the Indian caught up with her rival at 9-9 and then didn't give any chance to the Hong Kong girl to recover.

In the second game, Saina was more ruthless as she reeled off six straight points to create a huge gulf, which Pui Yin Yip could never bridge.

Kashyap started well in the first set and was up to the Danish challenge. Both were tied at 11 each. But smart play from the 25-year-old Danish helped him bag the first set 21-17.

The two shared an even record in the two prior encounters with Kashyap having the last laugh during their latest meeting at the Hong Kong Open last year.

In the second set, Jorgensen and Kashyap battled hard till 8-8. But after that Jorgensen didn't give much opportunity to the Indian. The Danish rode on his 10 smash winners to emerge victories.

"I pulled up my quadriceps muscle in the right leg. It happened yesterday in the first round. But I still played today and lost to Jan Jorgensen. I couldn't play my best because of the injury," Kashyap said.

"I will have a scan and see what the actual problem is. Hope I can recover quickly and get back to regular training and be fit for the All England," he added.

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