Sania lone flag-bearer for India in ABC | india | Hindustan Times
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Sania lone flag-bearer for India in ABC

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was the lone bright spot for the hosts, entering the semifinals of the Asian Badminton Championships here even as all other Indians crashed out in the quarterfinals on Friday.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2010 23:14 IST

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was the lone bright spot for the hosts, entering the semifinals of the Asian Badminton Championships here even as all other Indians crashed out in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Saina unleashed her repertoire of strokes and engaged in long rallies to outclass seventh seed Mew Choo Wong of Malaysia 21-5 21-13 to set up a semifinal clash with Chinese qualifier Xuerui Li tomorrow.

Barring Sania, India had a disappointing day as Aditi Mutatkar crashed out of the women's singles competition while the men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas and top-seeded mixed doubles combo of Jwala Gutta and V Diju bowed out in the quarterfinals of their respective events.

Coming out of injury, Aditi couldn't match up to the fast paced game of Chinese qualifier Xin Liu and went down 21-14 21-11 in the quarterfinals.

Rupesh and Sanave squandered a one game lead to go down fighting 21-17 16-21 15-21 against Korean pair of Sang Hoon Han and Ji Man Hwang while Jwala and Diju's campaign also ended in similar fate as they were shocked 21-15 11-21 14-21 by Chinese duo of Zihan Qiu and Qing Tian.

Among other quarterfinal matches, second seed Lin Dan beat seventh seed Yun Hu 21-11 21-10 in the men's singles, while in women's singles event second seed Mi Zhou of Hong Kong defeated fifth seed Thai Salakjit Ponsana 23-21 21-17.

World number six Saina had no problems whatsoever in getting past her rival as she dominated the entire proceedings with her powerful smashes, half smashes, flicks and accurate drops which the Malaysian had no answer.

"I didn't expect it to be so easy. I still can't believe the way I took the first game. All my strokes were coming good and I played my 100 per cent today. My defence was also good," the 20-year-old Hyderabadi said after the match.

"I am playing a Chinese qualifier and she has been playing well. It will be again a 50-50 match," Saina added.

In the mixed doubles affair, the top seeded Jwala-Diju duo started the match on an aggressive note to wrap up the first game in their favour but Diju's stiff back came haunting as they slowed down in the second and third game.

"In the first game I was playing well. I was confident in the second game also but we slowed down a bit because of Diju's back problem and tried to push the pace of the game which cost us the match," Jwala said.

"I was not feeling 100 per cent with my back during the match. When we were 12-12 in the third game, we committed some unforced errors and lost it," Diju said.