Saina enters semifinals in Indonesia


Jakarta: Defending champion Saina Nehwal today sailed into the semifinals of the Indonesian Super Series Premier after scripting a straight-game victory over Carolina Marin of Spain here.
However, India's campaign ended in the men's singles event as both R M V Gurusaidutt and Ajay Jayaram lost their respective quarterfinal matches. World number two Saina took 39 minutes to outplay her 27th ranked opponent 21-16 21-19 in a women's singles quarterfinal match at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad will take on world no. three Juliane Schenk of Germany in the last four stage. The first game was a close affair with none of the shuttlers sparing an inch to each other. Tied at 12-12, Saina broke free to surge ahead. She kept on increasing the gap and finally sealed it 21-13.
The Spanish girl started off on a great note in the second game, opening up a 7-2 lead before extending it further to 9-4. Saina then got her act together and the two rivals got engaged in a fierce battle and the game was tied at 10-10. But Carolina once again won three consecutive points to take a slender 13-10 lead.
The Spaniard then managed to maintain an upper hand and at one stage was comfortably placed at 19-15. But just when she seemed to run away with the second game, the higher ranked Indian bagged four points on the trot to be tied at 19-19.
After that there was no looking back for Saina as she clinched two important points to wrap up the match. Meanwhile, in the men's singles, Gurusaidutt went down fighting 21-19 11-21 10-21 to Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in a contest that lasted an hour and six minutes.
Even though Gurusaidutt was lagging behind throughout the opening game, he fought back to make it 19-19 before claiming two more points to win it. But he ran out of steam in the next two games and virtually turned out to be no match for his rival.
On the other hand, world number 25 Jayaram failed to negotiate the brilliant net play of his opponent and lost 16-21 15-21 in a 34-minute duel. Marc had beaten Jayaram in the Thailand Grand Prix Gold in 2008 but the Indian had avenged the loss in Dutch Grand Prix in 2010.
However, the world number 22 had an upper hand today as he played a better overall game to outwit the Indian. In the first game, Marc opened up a narrow 4-1 lead but Jayaram clawed back with four straight points. The German once again wrested the lead at 14-11 and held on to edge ahead.
In the second game, Jayaram made it 5-2 early on but Marc once again turned the tables and surged ahead to make it 16-9. Jayaram tried to step up the gas but the German didn't give any chance to the Indian.

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