Saina Nehwal of India stayed on course for another Super Series title this year when she overcame early blues to down sixth-seeded Juliane Schenk of Germany 21-19, 21-8 in a 36-minute women’s singles semifinal of the French Open Super Series badminton championship in Paris on Saturday.
This is the second straight defeat for Schenk against Saina after her loss in the Denmark Super Series final last week.
In the first game Saina was off to a sluggish start conceding a 0-3 lead before recovering to reduce it to 3-4. The lead changed hands before Schenk surged to 15-10 with a mix of powerful smashes and delectable drops. The way she set herself up for the big smashes or to push Saina to the baseline repeatedly made it clear that she meant business.
But again, Saina seemed to be in no mood to give up and saw the scores levelled at 16-all when the German complained about the speed of the shuttle, forcing the tournament director to come into the picture and test the shuttles.
After being satisfied with this, Schenk seemed to be successful in upsetting Saina’s concentration, racking up three points.
However, Saina rediscovered her wonted touch at the net to score five straight points to wrap up the game.
In the second game Saina ran up an imposing 8-0 lead in double quick time.It was becoming increasingly obvious that Schenk was up against a rejuvenated Indian.
It was a wonderful sight when a smiling Schenk acknowledged the brilliant triumph of the Indian at the end of the match.
In the other women’s singles semifinal, Minatsu Mitani of Japan defeated her country-mate Eriko Hirose 21-19, 21-10.