Hyderabad Hotshots seal their place in the final as they win the first 3 matches of the semi-final against Pune Pistons.
Hyderabad Hotshots convincingly beat Pune Pistons 3-0 in the first semi-final of the Indian Badminton League in Hyderabad and sealed their place in the final. Catch all the highlights here:
22:57 (IST): Hyderabad seal the issue in just three games and they now await the result of the second semi-final between Awadhe Wariors and Mumbai Masters.
22:53 (IST): Shem/ Wah win 16-21 21-14 11-7. Hyderabad Hotshots win this semi-final match 3-0.
22:47 (IST): Good judgement by Wah to lead 6-4 in final game.
22:39 (IST): Shem/Wah win 21-14 in Game 2. Good comeback by the duo after going down in Game 1.
22:33 (IST): Shem/Wah enter break 2 with 14-11 lead in Game 2.
22:31 (IST): Cross court smash by Sanave, Pistons still trail 10-11.
22:25 (IST): Shem plays a good smash but hits it out, Sanave/ Fischer trail 5-6.
22:17 (IST): Fischer/Sanave win 21-16 in Game 1. Both players looking good though they have paired up for the first time.
22:12 (IST): Sanave plays it at the net, Hotshots lead 14-13 in break 2 of game 1.
22:10 (IST): Post her win Saina Nehwal said "I lost my focus in the 2nd game and was unable to retrieve few shots. Schenk also changed her shots little bit which became quite dangerous. But I just thought about winning for a few seconds and got myself back in action to win the match."
22:04 (IST): Niel/Thom lead Goh/Kim 10-9 in Game 1 of third match.
21:51 (IST): Saina takes the decider 11-8 and that gives Hyderabad a 2-0 lead over Pune Pistons.
21:42 (IST): Terrific smash down the line by Saina to lead 6-4 in final game.
21:36 (IST): Juliane showed all why she is ranked No. 3 after making a terrific comeback and taking the match to the deciding game.
21:33 (IST): Juliane wins Game 2, 21-19 after Saina dominated majority of Game 2. So it goes into the decider.
21:27 (IST): "It was not a miracle overnight. I was suffering from an injury yesterday and I rested the entire day which really worked well and I won the match. I also changed my strategy a little bit to play against Tien Minh Nyugen," says Ajay Jayaram after his win.
21:24 (IST): Saina enters break 2 with 14-8 lead in Game 2. Juliane’s efforts to com back in the game have been thwarted at every turn.
21:20 (IST): Another cross court smash by Saina to lead 7-6 in Game 2. Juliane putting up a fight in this game.
21:09 (IST): Saina wins 21-10 with a good smash at Juliane in Game 1. A lot more was expected from Juliane by her team, she will have to rethink her strategy.
21:03 (IST): Saina enters break 2 with a 14-4 lead in Game 1 of match 2 against Schenk.
20:57 (IST): At the first short break, Hyderabad Hotshots’ Saina lead 7-3 over Schenk of Pune Pistons.
20:54 (IST): First points for Saina, goes two-nil up on her own serve.
20:50 (IST): Their record this tournament: Saina Nehwal (Hyderabad Hotshots) – played five women’s singles and won all. Juliane Schenk (Pune Pistons) – played five women’s singles and won three, lost two.
20:47 (IST): Ajay wins 21-17 21-11 as Minh makes a unforced error. So Hyderabad take a 1-0 lead over Pune. Up next is Saina Nehwal taking on Juliane Schenk.
20:41 (IST): A good body smash by Jayaram puts him ahead by 16-7 against Minh.
20:34 (IST): Jayaram surges ahead to a 7-2 lead over Minh. He is all set to wrap up the match in this game itself.
20:26 (IST): Ajay Jayaram gives Hyderabad Hotshots an early advantage as he beats Tien Minh Nguyen 21-17 in the first game of the opening match.
20:19 (IST): Tien Minh Nguyen enters the second break with a 14-13 lead over Ajay Jayaram in Game 1.
20:17 (IST): Tien Minh Nguyen comes back fighting as he leads Ajay Jayaram 13-10. The break seems to have done him some good.
20:11 (IST): Ajay Jayaram snatches a slender lead of 7-6 over Tien Minh Nguyen as they take the first break of the game.
20:03 (IST): Ajay Jayaram takes on Tien Minh Nguyen in the opener. When they played against each other in the league stage, Ajay won the match with the score of 21-19 21-8.
19:56 (IST): Saina Nehwal is to take on Juliane Schenk in the semi-final. Both teams line up ahead of the matches as Dr Akhilesh Dasgupta the President of the Badminton Association of India wishes them all the best.
19:53 (IST): So it’s all set in Hydeabad as the teo teams face off for a place in the final. Both coaches feel optimistic as they know in their minds there is no turning back.
19:34 (IST): Hyderabad Hotshots will be looking to the likes of Saina Nehwal and Taufik Hidayat to fire as there are no second chances.
19:17 (IST): Hyderabad Hotshots, having the advantage of playing at home, will be eager to give the home fans a win.
19:14 (IST): After losing to India’s latest sensation PV Sindhu of Awadhe Warriors in Bangalore on Saturday, Tine Baun, playing for Mumbai Masters, blamed it on the fast shuttles.
19:08 (IST): Pune Pistons lost their last match to Awadhe Warriors 3-2 as both booked places in the last four. The Lucknow-based team bagged four points with the win and top the standings with 16 points. The Pistons too are on 16 but have lost more games in the tournament.
Hyderabad lost their last league game to the Banga beats but were still able to top the table. The Hotshots are the table toppers with 17 points and will play third placed Pune Pistons, on 16 points, in the first semifinal here at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium on Wednesday while the second placed Awadhe Warriors will take on fourth placed Mumbai Masters in the second semifinal in Bangalore on Thursday.