Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal enters final, Kidambi Srikanth loses in semifinal
Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal enters final, Kidambi Srikanth loses in semifinalSaina Nehwal's dominating play at the Denmark Open in Odense continued on Saturday as the ace Indian shuttler entered the women's singles final with an easy 21-11, 21-12 win over Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung. TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Updated: Oct 20, 2018, 19:06 IST
- Nehwal defeated Indonesia's Gregoria 21-11, 21-12 to fix a date in the final against Asian Games champion Tai Tzu Ying
- Reigning world champion Momota beat Srikanth comfortably in straight games 16-21, 12-21
- The Japanese now dominates the head-to-head against Srikanth with a healthy 9-3 margin
Nehwal won her maiden Denmark Open title in 2012, and this is only her second entry into the title match of the event. She will meet her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, with memories of the Asian Games semi-final defeat still fresh in mind.
The World No. 10 from India was aggressive right from the start and took a 4-1 lead to start the first game. She stayed ahead and made it 9-4 before leading 11-5 at the break.
Nehwal's dominance kept get ting better with a one-way traffic taking the score to 16-6 in her favour. The reigning Commonwealth Games champion's confidence also showed in a couple of close line-calls that she reviewed to turn the verdict in her favour.
The Indonesian saved three game-points but couldn't prevent the inevitable as Nehwal went on to close the first game at 21-11 in just 13 minutes.
The second game began with Nehwal winning the first three points. However, the 19th-ranked Tunjung kept close to Nehwal's heels and levelled it at 7-all. But Nehwal managed to regain her advantage, leading 11-8 at the breather.
The Indian didn't take her foot off the accelerator to go within touching distance of victory at 18-11.
Winning the second game 21-12 in the end to claim the match, Nehwal confirmed her entry into tournament's summit clash, six years after winning it.
Earlier, Japan's Momota improved his head-to-to-head record against Srikanth to a healt hy 9-3 after winning their 12th meeting.
Momota was clearly the better player on the day as he raised his game with every passing point to push Srikanth out of the contest and win in two comfortable straight games.
Srikanth initially trailed 3-5 in the first game but then came back to win four consecutive points to make it 7-5 in his favour. But the world champion didn't let the Indian go out of his sight and came back to lead by a point, 11-10, at the breather.
The Japanese extended his lead to 15-11, and it swelled further to reach 20-13. Srikanth tried to make a comeback by saving three game points, but the gap was too much to cover as he lost 16-21.
The second game started on an even keel before Momota went 7-4 ahead and then stayed in front at 11-7 before going into the break.
Momota was not only covering the court better but also reading Srikanth's play as he came up with a couple of brilliant pick-ups to deny the Indian ace a chance to com e back.
The scoreboard reached 16-10 in favour of the Japanese, making it more and more difficult for Srikanth to bring the match on level terms.
The jump-smashes from Momota kept getting lethal as he ended points in style to lead 19-12. With Srikanth's shoulders dropping, Momota sealed the second game at 21-12 to book a place in the final.
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