Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth Reach China Open Finals

It turned out to be double delight for Indian badminton fans as both Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth stormed into the finals of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier on Saturday. In the women’s singles event, World No. 5 Nehwal defeated Liu Xin of China 21-17, 21-17. In men’s singles World No. 16 Srikanth reached his maiden Super Series final when Marc Zwiebler retired with the Indian leading 21-11, 13-7.

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Saina Nehwal in action during her semi-final at the China Open

Saina Nehwal in first China Open final
World No. 17 Liu Xin put pressure on Saina Nehwal from the beginning, building a slender lead of 7-4. But the Indian battled back with an aggressive show to level at 7-7 and then lead 11-10.

After the mid-game interval, the confident Saina went on a run of points to make it 19-13 in her favour. Even though Xin inched closer, two errors helped Saina Nehwal seal the game 21-17.

Saina battles back in second game
In the second game, Xin once again began confidently to go ahead 5-2 but couldn’t maintain the lead much longer as Saina equalised at 9-9.

The Indian led 11-9 at the break but the unfazed Chinese fought hard and put the match back on level terms at 14-14. However unforced errors from the racquet of the Chinese World No. 17 allowed Saina to clinch the win 21-17, 21-17 and enter the final.

Saina Nehwal will look to win her third title of the year when she takes on unseeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the summit clash. Earlier in the year Saina had won the Australian Super Series title and Syed Modi International Grand Prix gold.

Maiden Super Series final for Kidambi Srikanth

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Kidambi Srikanth (left) after his match with Marc Zwiebler at the China Open

India No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth put up a stellar display against Marc Zwiebler to reach his first Super Series final. After being locked at 6-6 in the first game, Srikanth stepped up to win 11 of the next 13 points. Having pocketed the first game 21-11, the Indian kept attacking the German relentlessly in the second game too.

Fatigued Zwiebler retires

Zwiebler who outlasted Parupalli Kashyap in the quarter-finals, looked fatigued and struggled with his movement. Marc could find the energy to continue and retired in the second game when Kidambi Srikanth built a 13-7 lead. Srikanth will take on the legendary Lin Dan of China in the final.

Summary

Six months ago Kidambi Srikanth was struggling with the after effects of a brain fever. This semi final victory will make Kidambi feel that all the efforts to recover his fitness were worthwhile. Good Luck Saina and Srikanth !




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