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Saina in Malaysian Super Series semis

January 18, 2013 17:31 IST

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal survived a scare from lower-ranked Japanese Nozomi Okuhara to advance to the semi-finals of the women's singles in the Malaysian Super Series, in Kuala Lumpur, on Friday.

The top seeded Indian lost the second game 14-21, after winning the first 21-11, but with Nozomi retiring early in the third, she cemented a place into the last four.

On Saturday, Saina will meet the winner of the match between two-time All England champion Tine Baun and sixth seed Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei.

The Hyderabadi girl dominated the proceedings early on. After opening up a 3-0 lead, she maintained it and widened the gap to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In the second game, however, Nozomi got her act together and gave Saina a taste of her own medicine as she raced to a 9-1 lead as Saina's game crumbled.

The Indian tried to narrow the gap, but it was too much to bridge.

The stage was set for a keen contest in the decider, but Nozomi, trailing 0-2, retired after experiencing problems with her knee.