Dubai: Olympic bronze medalist Saina Nehwal lost 21-11, 13-21, 9-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-final of the $1,000,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex here Saturday.
World No.4 Saina had a very good start in the first game but the 2014 Asian Games bronze medalist Tai produced an array of deceptive drop shots and combated Saina’s smashes with sharp net play to win the match in 55 minutes.
Facing Tai for the ninth time, Nehwal was in control in the opening set that she went on to win 21-11, but Tai fought back to draw level winning the second set 21-13.
Saina continued to make mistakes in the decider as well, allowing Tai to take a 7-2 lead. Saina’s problems swelled as Tai bagged seven successive points to widen the lead 14-3. Those seven points virtually ended Saina’s victory hopes, eventually losing 9-21.
With this win, Tai improved her one-on-one career record to 4-5 while Saina closed her Superseries season with a 37-11 win-loss record.
Nehwal was reflective after coming so close to her maiden appearance in the Superseries final. “She [Tai] is in good form at the moment. Maybe I could have played safer and avoided the unforced errors,” Nehwal told media.
Stepping in at the last minute as the ninth-ranked player, Tai was pleased at making her second straight entry in the finals. The 20-year-old had lost to China’s Shixian Wang in straight sets last year. “It is time to make up for that loss this year,” Tai said.
The Chinese Taipei player will take South Korea’s Sung Ji Hyun, a 21-13, 21-13 winner over fast-improving Akane Yamaguchi of Japan.
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