India’s Saina Nehwal remained on course for her second Super Series title by storming into the final of the Indonesia Open in Jakarta on Saturday.
The defending champion trounced Japan’s Eriko Hirose 21-9, 21-10 to be just one match away from winning the title.
Before winning the Singapore Super Series, Saina had won the India Open Grand Prix Gold in Chennai to see her world-ranking shoot up three places to No. 3. The top seed will now be up against another Japanese, Sayaka Sato, in the title clash. Sato ended the superb run of local qualifier Ana Rovita with a 21-19, 21-14 win in the other semifinal. Saina had earlier defeated Sayaka in the finals of the World Junior Badminton Championship in Pune in 2008.
Sayaka has so far upstaged two seeded players en route the final. She took out third seed Zhou Mi of Hong Kong in the first round, and then showed the door to seventh-seeded Pui Yin Yip of Hong Kong.
Unlike her quarterfinal match, where Saina overcame an opening-game deficit against Russia’s Ella Diehl, she was at her best against Hirose and won in just 25 minutes.
After opening up a 6-0 lead in the first game, Saina consolidated it to 13-7 before going 1-0 up. Carrying the momentum, the Indian clinched five points in a row to open up a 9-2 lead in second game. Hirose failed to comeback and bowed out.