Dubai: After her loss to Nozomi Okuhara yesterday, World No. 2 Saina Nehwal picked up a win she desperately needed when she outclassed the World No. 1 in an enthralling contest on Thursday.
Nehwal held a 9-6 lead in the first set, but too many unforced errors from her allowed Marin to quickly claw back with 15-14. The game was then locked in a decisive 21-21 score with some long rallies before Marin’s hard smash caught the net and Nehwal clinched the first set with 23-21.
Saina Nehwal looked tired in the second set, letting Marin to take the second set 21-9.
Both Nehwal and Marin were fighting tooth and nail in an aggressive decider. However, the recomposed Nehwal was able to extend her lead to 16-8, 19-9, before the Indian shuttler closed the third set against the World No. 1 Spaniard with 21-12.
In the men’s singles, World No. 1 Chen Long showed his precise, serene, and relentlessly dominance against Hu Yun of Hong Kong on day 2 of the Dubai World Superseries Finals 2015. Chen got out to a massive 9-0 lead in the second set to see off Hu 21-17, 21-12 in 37 minutes.
Meanwhile, Denmark’s rising star Viktor Axelsen who was beaten twice by Kidambi Srikanth of India at Swiss and India Open this year, exacted revenge over the World No. 8 Indian 21-13, 21-18 on Thursday to set up a clash with Japan’s Kento Momota on Friday.
The battle between World No. 1 men’s pair Lee Yong Dae/Yoo Yeon Seong of Korea and World No. 2 Mohammad Ahsan/Hendra Setiawan of Indonesia was supposed to be blockbuster showdown, but it turned out to be a surprisingly one-sided affair. The Koreans dismantled Ahsan/Setiawan in every facet of the match to win by 21-19, 21-10 in 37 minutes.
After a heartbreaking loss yesterday, World No. 2 mixed doubles pair Tontowi Ahmad/Liliyana Natsir suffered a straight-set loss on Thursday when they were sent packing by Reginald Lee Chun Hei/Chau Hoi Wah of Hong Kong 14-21, 17-21.
All players will play in their final group match on Friday, and only the top two players/pairs in each group of each category could advance to the semi-finals that will be held on Saturday.