Sydney: Saina Nehwal reached the women’s singles semi-finals with a comfortable straight-game win, but P.V. Sindhu failed to cross the quarter-final hurdle in the Australian Super Series, here on Friday.
While Sindhu, seeded eighth, lost 17-21, 17-21 to Carolina Marin of Spain, the sixth-seeded Saina got the better of Eriko Hirose of Japan 21-18, 21-9 in 47 minutes to set up a clash with world No. 2 Chinese shuttler Shixian Wang, in the last-four stage of the tournament.
Saina enjoys a 4-3 record against two-time All England champion Wang but the Chinese had won the last couple of times that they met.
The London Olympics bronze-medallist Indian got off to a fine start against her Japanese opponent, as she straightaway opened up a 4-0 lead and quickly widened the gap to 8-2.
But Hirose fought her way back to make it 10-10.
Although Saina always held an upper hand and maintained a slender lead, Hirose once again came from behind to make it 18-18.
But world No. 8 Saina held her nerves and was quick to take the next three points to wrap the opening game.
A dominant display in the second game by Saina left the Japanese girl gasping for breath. And the only time Hirose even came close to the shuttler from Hyderabad was at 2-3.
Sindhu, the world No. 10, fought her heart out for 47 minutes but could not overcome the challenge posed by the 11th ranked Spaniard.