New Delhi: Two-time champion Saina Nehwal demolished Ji Hyun Sung of Korea in straight games to storm into the final of the Indonesia Open Super Series badminton tournament for the fourth consecutive year, in Jakarta, on Saturday.
The world No. 5 shuttler, who won the title back-to-back in 2009 and 2010 before losing the crown last year, had little difficulty in disposing off her unseeded Korean rival 22-20, 21-18 in the women’s singles semi-final, which lasted exactly 50 minutes.
Saina will face fourth seeded Xuerui Li of China in the summit clash on Sunday. Li stunned top seed and compatriot Yihan Wang in the other semi-final. The road to the third Indonesia Open title will not be easy for Saina as she holds a dismal 1:4 head-to-head record against Li.
The day, however, witnessed mixed results for India as earlier Olympic-bound P Kashyap failed to cross the semi-final hurdle of the Super Series Premier event, losing 15-21, 12-21 to world No. 9 Simon Santoso in a 46-minute men’s singles match at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno Stadium.
However, the day did not start on a good note for India as world No. 26 Kashyap struggled against Simon in the men’s singles semi-final.
Kashyap matched Simon initially but the Indonesian broke the Indian’s game plan and moved into the break at 11-10. Simon varied the pace of the rallies and pushed Kashyap into committing mistakes to lead 14-13.
Simon had a better idea of the court and made some sound line judgments. With Kashyap faltering at the nets and his strokes going wide, it allowed Simon to enjoy a five-point cushion at 20-15. Another mistake with a cross court net shot and Simon was leading the match 1-0.