Steely Saina reaches French Open finals

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 27, 2012 17:23 hrs

London Olympics bronze medallist shuttler Saina Nehwal stamped her authority to storm into the final of the French Super Series with a classy 21-19 21-8 victory over German Juliane Schenk in the semifinals of the women's singles here today.

The 22-year-old Indian, who was meeting Juliane for the second time in two weeks, outclassed the German 21-19 21-8 in a 36-minute match, which saw some brilliant badminton. She will take on Minatsu Mitani of Japan in the finals tomorrow.

Saina, who had defeated Juliane in the finals of the Denmark Open last week in Odense, showed once again why she is revered as one of the best badminton player in the world as she hardly put a foot wrong today.

The world number three was erratic initially and conceded a narrow 3-1 lead. But she soon bought up her down the line smashes and tosses and engaged Juliane in long rallies to make it 6-6.

Juliane tried to bring Saina to the nets and exerted herself to get behind the shuttles and moved into the break with a two-point cushion with the help of two cross-court smashes.

After the breather, the German moved to a 15-10 lead with a couple of points at the nets and back of the court. Juliane was brilliant in her returns but she failed to judge the shuttle speed and kept hitting long to allow Saina claw back at 16-16.

There a brief interruption after Juliane was allowed to test the shuttle speed following her repeated requests to the chair umpire and on resumption, she immediately gathered three quick points to move to 19-16.

A delightful net stroke helped Saina to make it 17-19 and then what followed was a scintillating rally where Juliane lost her racquet while returing a shot to allow the Indian gather another point.

Saina then closed the deficit when Juliane's return went to the net and then stamped her brilliance with two perfect net shots to nose ahead.

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