Saina Nehwal in final of Denmark Open, Kidambi Srikanth suffers defeat in semifinal
Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal stormed into the women’s singles final of Denmark Open with an easy win over Gregoria Tunjung of Indonesia but Kidambi Srikanth suffered a straight game defeat in the men’s singles semifinals to bow out of the tournament here on Saturday.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina beat Tunjung 21-11 21-12 in a one-sided semifinal match that lasted just 30 minutes.
Saina Nehwal will face world number one and nemesis Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the summit clash on Sunday.
Tai Tzu has an overwhelming 12-5 career head-to-head record against Saina. Saina last defeated Tai Tzu in 2013 and since then the Chinese Taipei shuttler has been victorious in the last 10 matches between the two.
This year, world number 10 Saina has lost all her four matches against Tai Tzu, the last being the semifinal clash in the Asian Games in Jakarta in August.
In the semifinal match against Tunjung, it was, however, a cakewalk for Saina as she completely dominated from start to finish in both the games.
With Parupalli Kashyap, with whom she is getting married later this year, cheering her at the corner of the court, Saina reeled off easy points one after the other with her Indonesian rival not giving much resistance.
Saina was 10-4 ahead in no time and extended the lead to 17-8 before pocketing the first game in just 13 minutes.
Tunjung gave a semblance of a fight in the second game which lasted a bit longer than the first. Saina took a 7-3 lead but Tunjung fought back to level scores at 7-7 but there was no looking back for the Indian from there on as she surged ahead with a series of points before pocketing the second game to win the match.
In the men’s singles semifinals earlier in the day, Srikanth was completely off-colour, especially in the second game, as he went down tamely to world number one Kento Momota of Japan in 42 minutes.
However, there was not much to separate between the two initially as they were locked 10-10. But from there on, Momota surged ahead by reeling off four straight points.
World number six Srikanth narrowed down the gap to 13-15 but the Japanese continued his momentum to make it 20-13 to have seven game points. The Indian saved three game points but it was just a matter of one shot for Momota to go 1-0 up in the match.
The second game was even worse for Srikanth as he trailed all along from 4-4. There was a brief period of a fightback from Srikanth when he made the score 9-11 but from there on the Japanese was unstoppable as he won the second game quickly to pocket the match.