India’s Saina Nehwal stormed into the women’s semifinal of the All England Badminton Championship with a stunning 21-8, 21-14 quarterfinal win over Germany’s Juliane Schenk in 27 minutes at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Saina is the first Indian woman to reach the quarterfinals of All England, which is in its centenary year. In the semifinal, Saina will meet former world No.1 Tine Rasmussen of Denmark. Rasmussen shocked world champion and sixth seed Lan Lu 16-21, 23-21, 21-11 in the first quarterfinal.
“It is a fantastic victory,” said Pullela Gopichand, former All England champion and national coach, in a statement.
“I told her to playing an aggressive game. Saina is in good touch,” he added.
Asked about her semifinal chances, Gopichand said: “Saina is a much improved player than last year. She has been working on her strokes. She has the edge over Rasmussen.”