Star Indian shuttler Sania Nehwal came back strongly after losing the first game to stun reigning World Champion Wang Lin of China and booked her place in the women’s singles semi-finals of the Malaysia Open Grand Prix Gold tournament here on Friday.
The top seed and world number four dug deep into her resources to edge past the Chinese 14-21, 21-19, 21-19 in the intensely fought quarter-final that lasted 57 minutes.
Wang Lin, who had defeated compatriot Wang Xin 21-11, 19-21, 21-13 to win the World Championship final in August 2010, had suffered an injury soon after and was out of action for six months. Having lost crucial ranking points, she had to qualify for the Malaysian Open and had beaten Japanese sixth seed Eriko Hirose in her previous outing.
But against Saina, Lin Wang started well and smashed her way to 14-21 win.
However, Saina tightened her game and took control of things at the net to win the next two games in which the players went neck and neck. “I am happy with the way I played. I could not win the India Open at home and I was disappointed. I am happy with my recovery after that and I hope to go for the win in the tournament this time,” Saina said after her match. Saina will next take on seventh seed Korean Ji Hyun Sung.