Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal survived a scare before prevailing over unseeded Chinese Taipei’s Hsian Huan Chen in a thrilling three-game match to reach the prequarterfinals of World Championship here on Wednesday.
The second seed Indian, one of the hot favourites to win the World title, beat Chen 20-22, 21-15, 21-8 in the second round of the women’s singles here.
Saina was clearly not in her elements in the first game as she blew a 20-18 lead while Chen, playing controlled shots at the nets, won her way through to 22-20.
“I know I was a little tight in the first game and it normally happens when you play your first match in a World Cup,” said Saina.
“Actually, I should have won the first game after leading by a couple of points but that’s the nature of the game.”
In the second game, Saina didn’t take too many risks and cut down on the unforced errors. Her long shots were more controlled and she began dominating the mid court, an area where Chen was cutting the Indian down.
After Chen had taken a 2-0 lead in the second game, Saina slowly got herself back as the lead exchanged hands quite a few times till the Indian led at 13-12.
The Hyderabadi shuttler then slowly built up the lead to 17-13 and with a beautiful drop shot came within a point of taking the second game. An error from Chen gave Saina the game as she fist clenched let out a scream. “At that point, I was controlling the rallies and was willing to take a few risks at the net,” Saina said.