Saina Nehwal stormed into her maiden Super Series final with a straight games win over Lan Lu of China in the semifinals of the Indonesian Open in Jakarta on Saturday.
The 19-year-old, who had lost to Lu in the Swiss Open last year after leading 17-13 in the decider, showed nerves to clinch the opening game on the fifth game point and then rallied in the second to clinch the tie 25-23, 21-19. The world number 8 will now take on third seed Lin Wang of China in the final. Wang, who had defeated the Indian in the Singapore Open last week, defeated former world champion and compatriot Xie Xingfang 21-19, 21-13.
Aware that patience would be the key against the experienced Lu, Saina adopted the simple game plan of keeping the shuttle in play and the fact that she won more points on the net than smash winners proved that the plan worked.
National coach Pullela Gopichand was elated and said earlier Saina used to be guilty of being too aggressive. “But she is more patience now and that paid off.”