The only Indian shuttler left in the tournament, defending champion Saina Nehwal advanced to the women’s singles semi-finals with a comprehensive straight games win over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at the prestigious $700,000 China Open Superseries Premier in Fuzhou on Friday.
The top seed took just 42 minutes to ease past the World No.10 Japanese 21-16, 21-13 at the Haixia Olympic Sports Center. With the win, the World No.2 took her record against Okuhara to 4-0.
The unseeded Okuhara tried giving Nehwal a fight at the start but once the Hyderabadi found her rhythm, she comfortably clinched the first game.
Nehwal was completely unmatchable in the second game, racing away to a 13-5 lead due to her swift on-court movement. Her drops and smashes also found the floor on her opponent’s side of the court as she sealed the contest on her second match point.
Overall, the 25-year-old Nehwal won 42 of 71 points played in the match.
Next up, Nehwal will take on old foe and former World Champion Yihan Wang of China, who has a 9-3 record against the Indian. However, it is Nehwal who came out on top in the two meetings they have had this year.