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Super Series Finals: Saina to face World No 1 in final

December 17, 2011 18:12 IST

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal created history on Saturday by becoming the first Indian singles player to reach the summit clash of the BWF Super Series Finals after defeating Tine Baun of Denmark during the semi-finals in Liuzhou in China.

World No 4, Saina, defeated the fifth ranked Baun 21-17, 21-18, in 34 minutes to set up a summit clash against China's World No 1 Yihan Wang on Sunday.

Saina NehwalEarlier, Wang beat compatriot Xin Wang in the other semi-final.

Jwala Gutta and V Diju are the only other Indians to have achieved the feat when the mixed doubles pair reached the Super Series Finals in the 2009 edition of the tournament before losing to Christinna Pedersen and Joaquim Nielsen.

Saina, who had topped Group B in the round robin league, could not dominate her opponent in smash and net play and lagged behind marginally. But she slowly took control as the match progressed.

The Indian had eight smash winners against Baun's nine and 11 net winners to the Dane's 12. In rallies, Saina collected 23 winners as against 14 by Baun.

The first game was a see-saw affair with both the players leading in turns till the game was tied 14-14. Saina then zoomed ahead with four straight points before pocketing the game 21-17.

In the second game, Saina trailed 1-2 initially but steadily gained momentum. Both the players were levelled at 11-11 and then 13-13 before the Indian surged ahead again just like in the first game to take a 19-14 lead.

At this point, Saina seemed to have slackened a bit and that allowed Baun to come back into the match at 18-19. But that turned out to be the last desperate attempt for Baun as Saina wrapped up the second game 21-18 and the match by taking two consecutive points.

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