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Rediff.com  » Sports » China Masters: Saina loses, Jwala-Diju in semis

China Masters: Saina loses, Jwala-Diju in semis

September 16, 2011 20:27 IST

India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal exited from the China Masters Super Series, but the top mixed doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and V Diju kept the tricolour fluttering after a thrilling victory to advance to the semi-finals at Changzhou on Friday.

Fifth seed Saina lost 8-21, 12-21 to top seed and world No 1 Yihan Wang in a women's singles match that lasted 33 minutes, at the Xincheng Gymnasium.

Jwala and Diju, however, held their nerves at crucial moments to register a 17-21, 21-19, 21-9 victory over Robert Blair of Scotland and Briton's Gabrielle White, in 46 minutes.

V Diju and Jwalla GuttaThe world number 56 pair will take on the Korean duo of Yeon Seong Yoo and Ye Na Jang in Saturday's semi-finals.

The 21-year-old Saina was no match for the Chinese, who sent down as many as 23 smash winners against eight by her.

Yihan also played better at the net, scoring 13 winners compared to Saina's four. She did not give Saina a chance as she opened up a 2-0 lead before making giant strides to pocket the first game.

The second game was no different, as Yihan reeled off eight straight points from 4-3 to create a huge lead, which Saina could never bridge.

Saina had lost in the quarter-finals of the World Championships as well last month.

While Saina had an off day, Jwala and Diju fought back from a game down to emerge triumphant.

The Indian duo took time to get into the groove and after lagging 5-13, narrowed the gap to 17-19 before allowing their opponents to walk away with the first game.

However, Jwala and Diju bounced back in the second game with the help of some deft net play and coordination as they opened up a 13-8 lead, which they held on to draw level.

In the decider, the Indian pair dug into their vast experience and broke away from 3-all as Blair and White faltered.

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