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HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, October 27, 2012
Saina Nehwal stayed on course for a second title in as many weeks when she reached the final of the French Open Super Series in Paris. In a repeat of last Sunday's Denmark Open final, Saina defeated Germany's Juliane Schenk 21-19, 21-8 on Saturday to enter the summit clash.
Saina, who rose to No 3 after last week's conquests, overcame a sluggish start as the German sought revenge. Schenk looked in control in the first game and was leading 15-10 and 19-15 before Saina turned the tables.


Schenk even insisted on changing the entire barrel of shuttles after losing three points when her shots landed outside the line. Saina had by then found her rhythm, and won six points on the trot to snatch the game from her seventh-seeded opponent.  Schenk, known to never go down without a fight, looked shattered after the first-game loss.

In the second game, Saina took advantage of her opponent's wounded confidence and if the 8-0 lead was an indicator, she was doing a good job of it. Some well-placed shots, which Schenk felt was too much effort to even return, saw the top-seeded Indian wrap up the match quickly.

Final hurdle
The 22-year-old Hyderabadi faces Japan's unseeded Minatsu Mitani in the final. Saina enjoys a 3-0 head-to-head record against the world No 26 Japanese, and had beaten her last week in Odense.