Saina Nehwal recorded her third win over world no. 4, Shixian Wang of China in a gruelling three-game match to make the semifinals, while P. Kashyap also continued his rampaging run to enter the last four stage of the Indonesian Super Series in Jakarta on Friday.
In a marathon battle that lasted an energy-sapping one hour and 37 minutes, world no. 5 Saina saw off Shixian 21-17, 21-23, 21-19 in the women’s singles at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium to inch closer to her third title. She will meet world no. 10 Korean, Ji Hyun Sung
Earlier in the day, Kashyap cruised into the semifinals with a 21-15, 21-14 victory over Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark in the men’s singles competition. He will next take on seventh seed Simon Santoso of Indonesia.
In a see-saw battle, Saina and Shixian both found it difficult to control the shuttle as drift played a role. Both succumbed to a lot of unforced errors before Saina got back her bearing and went into the break at 11-10.
After the break, the smashes were out of the closet and both treaded points to move neck-and-neck till 16-16. But Saina kept her patience and went into the lead by pushing the shuttle at the back court.
She played a wonderful drop, to which Shixian had no answer. The Chinese hit the shuttle out and found the net a couple of times to award the game point to Saina.
Shixian saved a game point before Saina pocketed the game with a cross court smash after a long rally.
In the second game, Saina pushed her opponent to the limits and opened up an 8-4 lead.
The fitness of both the players was tested to the brink but with Shixian’s game crumbling, Saina went into the break at 11-6 and then led 17-13.