Johor Bahru (Malaysia):Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal defeated Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk in straight games to advance to the semifinals of the World Super Series Masters Final here on Friday.
The world number eight Indian beat lower-ranked Porntip 21-13, 21-19 in a 33-minute match to emerge as one of the top two players in Group A here. Malaysian Mew Choo Wong is the other semifinalist from Group A.
The mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju also brought smiles to the Indian camp by winning their important encounter against Thai combo Songphon Anugritayawon and Kunchala Voravichitchaikul 21-12, 21-8 in just 20 minutes.
However, the fate of the duo hinges on the result of the match between the English pair Anthony Clark and Donna Kellogg and Indonesian combo of Hendra Aprida Gunawan and Vita Marissa.
Saina had a disastrous start to her campaign when she went down to Wong in her first match but the 20-year-old bounced back in remarkable style notching up two straight wins against Canadian Charmaine Reid yesterday and Prontip today.
The Hyderabadi was in brilliant form in the first game and after opening up a 6-3 lead, Saina didn't allow her rival to come back.
In the next game, Prontip stepped up the gas and fought bravely to be neck and neck from 1-1 to 16-16 before the Indian surged ahead to close the issue in her name.