Malaysia Masters 2019 semi-final Highlights: Marin dominated the second game to finish the semi-final in 40 minutes. The first game was a see-saw affair with Saina managing to keep a check on the Spaniard’s attacking game for the most part. But the Olympic champion wrestled control in the early stages of the second and never let go after that.
Saina’s ouster ends the Indian challenge in Malaysia. She looked in good touch when she beat Nozomi Okuhara in the quarters but Marin has been on an upward curve since the latter half of 2018.
Malaysia Masters 2019 semi-final Highlights:
Marin beats Saina 21-16, 21-13
The match lasted 40 minutes. The first game was a see-saw affair but Marin wrestled control in the early stages of the second. She never let go after that. Saina took a couple of points while Marin was on match point but it was too little too late.
Marin 19-11 Saina
Saina has had her moments but this second game has been all about Marin. The Indian's famous net game has been pretty much absent here.
Marin 9-6 Saina
Saina slowly fighting her way back. She can't match Marin's pace and raw power and so placing shots as accurately as she can and cramping Marin for space is pretty much her only option.
Game of towels
Marin asks for a towel, the umpire refuses and lets her out after the point is played. Saina also proceeds to her bench but the umpire asks her to get back on court as Marin asked her permission whereas Saina didn't. Interesting passage that.
Marin leads 6-1
Marin in complete control now. She is continually muttering to herself, letting out the occasional scream whenever she wins a point.
Marin wins 21-16
Saina managed to take another point before Marin took a short break. When play resumed, Saina could not hold anymore and conceded a point.
Marin 20-15 Saina
Marin screams in delight as Saina nets an attempted drop shot that leds the Spaniard take the lead. Marin goes on to take five consecutive points to reach game point before hitting it long to concede one.
Back to level-pegging. Marin fails to pick up a backhand from near the nets to concede the lead. It continues to be a see-saw, this fixture.
Marin leads 11-9
An engrossing first half to the 1st game. Saina took the early lead, Marin then trumped and raced to take a 5-point advantage before the Indian closed it down. But Marin remained on the attack and has a two-point lead at the halfway mark.
Saina back in it
Marin had raced away to a 9-5 lead but Saina backs her defence and fights back to draw level 9-9. Four points in a row for the Indian here.
Marin draws level
Saina loses a review for an outside call that went against her. A smash to her body helps Marin cut Saina's lead to 5-3 before another to the corner of the court to Saina's left meaks it 4-5. Saina serves next but can't hold off Marin and the score is now 5-5
Saina Nehwal starts with a point but then overhits a back-hand and the game is level at 1-1. Marin's overhead cross-court smash then goes outside to make 2-1 in favour of Saina before a long back hand makes it 3-1.
Watanabe-Higashino are through
Heartbreak for the home favourites as the top seeded pair beat them 15-21,21-7, 14-21. Next-up, Saina vs Marin.
Mixed doubles semis
Japan's Yuta Watanabe and Arisa Higashino are currently playing Malaysian pair Chan Peng Soon and Goh Liu Ying. The Japanese had won the first game 21-15 but the home favourites romped to a 21-7 win in the second. We are into the third game now.
Hello and welcome!
Saina Nehwal is back in the international circuit and has already entered her first semi-final. She had to put up quite a fight to get past Nozomi Okuhara and the satisfaction she gained from it was evident in the fact that she actually took to Twitter to celebrate the victory. She now faces a rejuvenated Carolina Marin who seems to have gotten over her post-Olympic gold struggles. It promises to be an interesting contest.