Saina reaches Malaysian Super Series quarters

Updated: 08 January 2009 09:38 IST

Saina Nehwal staved off the challenge from Hsiao Huan Chen of Chinese Taipei in second round match to enter the quarterfinal of the Malaysian Super Series.

Saina reaches Malaysian Super Series quarters

Kuala Lumpur:

Saina Nehwal staved off the challenge from Hsiao Huan Chen of Chinese Taipei in an edge-of-the-seat second round match to enter the quarterfinal of the Malaysian Super Series on Thursday.

World number 10 Saina beat Chen 21-16, 19-21, 21-19 in a thrilling battle that lasted 48 minutes.

In the quarterfinal, Saina will face Hongyan Pi of France whom she had defeated in the round-robin league of World Super Series Masters Finals here last month.

In the first game, Saina did not give any chance to her opponent and opened up a 13-9 lead and although Chen tried to draw level, Saina gradually moved on to 17-13 before wrapping the game 21-16.

Stung by the reversal, Chen rallied to open an 8-6 lead in the second game and then moved to 11-8. Even though Saina drew level at 12-12, the Chinese Taipei shuttler turned the table and pocketed and the game 21-19 to stay afloat.

With the match positioned 1-1, the third game was a virtual cliffhanger with Chen Chen wresting early initiative and taking a three-point lead at 12-9.

Pushed to the brink, Saina, a quarterfinalist in the Beijing Olympics, battled her heart out, drawing level at 12-12 and going neck-and-neck at 14-14, 16-16 and 18-18. Levelled at 19-all, the 18-year-old Indian broke free and grabbed the next two points to seal the game.

However, there was disappointment in the mixed doubles match as the Indian pair of V Diju and Jwala Gutta was sent packing 21-18 21-14 by local pair Kien Keat Koo and Hui Lin Ng in the second round.



Topics : Badminton Saina Nehwal
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