Dubai: World number four Saina Nehwal of India who got the better of reigning Asian Games champion Wang Shixian in her opener yesterday, extended her domination over South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun with an emphatic 21-12, 21-18 victory on Thursday. It was Saina’s fifth win against Sung in six career meetings though the Indian had lost last time they played each other in the 2013 Denmark Open.
Saina Nehwal cruised to a quick 13-4 lead in the first set before she took the first game with 21-12. The second set was a neck and neck game, where Saina only held a slender 11-9 lead at the interval. Sung kept coming back to ensure she stayed in the hunt. Saina suddenly switched gears at 17-16 and ran away with the game and match. She next faces another South Korean, Bae Yeon Ju, in her final match in Group A.
Earlier in the morning session, the string of surprises continued with the women’s top seed Wang Shixian succumbing to her second straight loss, this time going down to South Korea’s Bae Yeon Ju 21-17, 21-17 in just 41 minutes.
Women’s singles world number three Wang Yihan was out of the competition also after being forced to withdraw from her Group B match with Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan due to injury. The Chinese player was losing 21-12 11-8 when the decision was made, and she will not contest her final match with Ratchanok Intanon.
Ratchanok Intanon also could not reach the semi-finals of the competition after her second defeats of the group, losing 21-15 16-21 21-12 to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi on Thursday.
Bae Yeon Ju (South Korea) bt Wang Shixian (China) 21-17, 21-17;
Tai Tzu Ying (Chinese Taipei) bt Wang Yihan (China) 21-12, 11-8 (retd.);
Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) bt Ratchanok Intanon (Indonesia) 21-15, 16-21, 21-12;
Saina Nehwal (India) bt Sung Ji Hyun (South Korea) 21-12, 21-19.
Luo Ying/Luo Yu (China) bt Reika Kakiiwa/Miyuki Maeda (Japan) 21-13, 21-14;
Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan) bt Jung Kyung Eun/Kim Ha Na (South Korea) 21-15, 13-21, 21-12;
Christinna Pedersen/Kamilla Rytter Juhi (Denmark) bt Chang Ye Na/Kim So Yeong (South Korea) 21-15, 21-12.