Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stands just a win away from clinching her second title of the year after she stunned world number two and top seed Chinese Shixian Wang in a gruelling three-game semifinal contest of the USD 750,000 Star Australian Super Series in Sydney on Saturday.
Sixth-seeded Saina prevailed 21-19 16-21 21-15 in a marathon match, which lasted an hour and 16 minutes.
“Beat world number 2 wang shixian in a tough 3 game match. Through to the final of the Australian Open super series!” tweeted the Indian after recording her fifth overall win against the Chinese nemesis, which took their head-to-head record to 5-3.
Saina, who had ended up on the losing side in their previous two encounters - the most recent being the All England Championships, showed tremendous grit to outsmart the top-seeded Wang.
As expected, it was evenly-contested battle between the two players, who are pretty familiar with each others tactics.
In the opening game, it went neck and neck till 19-19 before Saina broke away to seal the issue in her favour.
Not the one to give up easily, Wang roared back in the second game. The two players were even till the 16th point but Wang broke off from that point to draw level with Saina.
However, Saina proved in the final battle of attrition and won the deciding third game rather comprehensively to enter the final.
Saina had earlier this year won the India Open Grand Prix Gold in Delhi.