Saina Nehwal reaches semis of World Super Series Finals

Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal looks all set to cap a remarkable year on a high as the ace Indian shuttler reached the semifinals of the BWF World Super Series Finals with a fine straight-game win over Juliane Schenk of Germany, here today.

Saina had her back against the wall after two back-to-back losses in Group 'B' but the London Olympics bronze-medallist made a remarkable comeback and put herself back into the reckoning for her fifth Super Series title this year with a 21-7 21-18 victory over Schenk in 37 minutes.

The World No. 3 Saina made a resounding start reeling off six straight points with a mix of her trademark crosscourt smashes and drop shots to which Schenk had no response.

Saina was ahead 9-2 just five minutes into the match and swelled her lead to 15-7 as Schenk looked a pale shadow of herself in the opening game.

Saina did not give her opponent any chance to claw her way back into the match and reeled off another six points to pocket the first game with relative ease.

The first game saw Saina hitting six smash winners against three by her German opponent.

In the next game, Schenk looked a better player and used her on-court experience to perfection to take a 6-3 lead. However, her three-point lead was short-lived as Saina used her crosscourt smashes to perfection to reduce the deficit.

The second game saw both the players running neck and neck with the scoreline locked at 11-all.

None was ready to relent first as Saina relied on her fine baseline game to neutralise Schenk's trademark power-game.

Saina, however, managed to break the deadlock and surged ahead to 14-12. But, the World No. 4 Schenk made a spirited comeback against her old nemesis and won some crucial points to reduce the lead to 16-18.

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