Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

Fifteen-month wait ends, Saina Nehwal in final at Lucknow

Saina will face second seed PV Sindhu in the summit clash (File) Saina will face second seed PV Sindhu in the summit clash (File)
Written by Wajiha Shah | Lucknow | Posted: January 26, 2014 1:41 am | Updated: January 26, 2014 11:56 am

The semi-finals of the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold tournament provided top seed Saina Nehwal much needed relief when she outclassed sixth seed Xuan Deng (China) 21-14, 17-21, 21-19 to make the final. This will be the first time that she has made the final of a tournament in more than a year.

Saina will face second seed PV Sindhu in the summit clash. Sindhu beat fourth seed Lindaweni Fanetri of Indonesia 21-6, 12-21, 21-17 in another keenly-contested fight which lasted for a little over an hour.

In the men’s singles final, sixth seed K Srikanth of India will face ninth seed Xue Song of China. While Srikanth defeated compatriot and seventh seed HS Prannoy 21-18, 22-20, Xue Song beat Aditya Prakash of India 21-10, 21-7 in their respective semi-final clashes.

The semi-final clash between World no. 9 Saina Nehwal and World no. 49 Xuan Deng was a thriller. Saina exercised an upper hand in the first game from the very beginning and won it 21-14. However, in the second game, Xuan took a slender lead at 4-6 but Saina levelled it at 7-7 and even lead 14-10 but thereafter Xuan collected four straight points to bring parity to the scores. Deng kept fighting for each point and won the second game 17-21.

In the decider, Saina trailed 0-7 but equalised at 8-8. Ultimately, Saina prevailed in what was a close game, 21-19.
In men’s doubles, the Chinese pair of Li Junhui and Liu Yuchen of China registered a 21-18, 21-15 victory over Indian pair Pranav Jerry Chopra and Akshay Dewalkar in the semis.

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