Saina Nehwal reached the women’s singles semifinals with a comfortable straight-game win, but compatriot P.V. Sindhu failed to cross the quarterfinal hurdle in the $7,50,000 Star Australian Super Series, in Sydney on Friday.
While Sindhu, seeded eighth, lost 17-21, 17-21 against Carolina Marin of Spain, sixth-seeded Saina got the better of Eriko Hirose of Japan, winning 21-18, 21-9 in 47 minutes.
Saina got off to a fine start against her Japanese opponent, as she straight away opened up a 4-0 lead and quickly widened the gap to 8-2. But Hirose fought her way back to make it 10-10.
Although she always held an upper hand and maintained a slender lead, Hirose once again came from behind to make it 18-18.
But the world no. 8 held on and was quick to take the next three points to wrap the opening game.
A dominant display in the second game by Saina left the Japanese girl gasping for breath. And the only time Hirose even came close to the shuttler from Hyderabad was at 2-3.
Saina will face Shixian Wang in the semifinals. The Indian enjoys a 4-3 record against the world no. 2 — a two-time All England champion — although Wang has won in their last two encounters.
Won a tough quarter final against Hirose. I play Wang shixian in the semi final tomorrow. Keep supporting me friends pic.twitter.com/N0OYvAHs4z— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) June 27, 2014
Sindhu crashes out
Sindhu, world no. 10, fought her heart out for 47 minutes but could not overcome the challenge posed by the 11-ranked Carolina.
Opening game was a closely fought affair with the two shuttlers exchanging the lead time and again. The game kept oscillating till it was tied at 17-17.
At this stage, the Spaniard broke off and reeled four consecutive points to seal the first game 21-17.
Sindhu tried hard to make a comeback in the second game, and put up a good fight. But it lasted only till 7-7. The Spaniard bagged a couple of points to surge ahead and then capitalised on the advantage to maintain a slight edge. At 20-15, when Carolina was serving for the match, Sindhu managed to save two match points, but eventually went down to crash out of the competition.