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Saina sails into Indonesia Super Series semis

June 14, 2013 20:04 IST

Defending champion Saina Nehwal sailed into the semi-finals of the Indonesia Super Series Premier after a straight-games victory over Carolina Marin of Spain, in Jakarta, on Friday.

However, India's campaign ended in the men's singles, as both R M V Gurusaidutt and Ajay Jayaram lost their respective quarter-final matches.

World No 2 Saina took 39 minutes to outplay her 27th ranked opponent 21-16, 21-19 in a women's singles quarter-final match at the Istora Gelora Bung Karno stadium.

Saina NehwalThe 23-year-old from Hyderabad will take on world No 3 Juliane Schenk of Germany in the semi-finals.

The first game was close, with neither of the shuttlers sparing an inch. Tied at 12-12, Saina broke free to surge ahead. She kept increasing the gap and finally sealed it 21-13.

The Spanish girl started off well in the second game, opening up a 7-2 lead before extending it to 9-4.

But Saina then got her act together and aftyer a fierce battle the scores were tied 10-10. Carolina, however, won three consecutive points to take a slender 13-10 lead.

The Spaniard then maintained the upper hand and, at one stage, was comfortably placed at 19-15. But just when she seemed to run away with the second game, the higher-ranked Indian bagged four straight points to level the scores at 19.

After that there was no looking back for the Indians ace. She clinched two important points to wrap the match.

Meanwhile, in the men's singles, Gurusaidutt went down fighting 21-19, 11-21, 10-21 to Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia in a contest that lasted an hour and six minutes.

Even though Gurusaidutt was lagging behind throughout the opening game, he fought back to make it 19-19 before claiming two more points and win it.

But he ran out of steam in the next two games and virtually turned out to be no match for his opponent.

On the other hand, world No 25 Jayaram failed to negotiate the brilliant net play of his opponent and lost 16-21, 15-21 in 34 minutes.

Marc had beaten Jayaram in the Thailand Grand Prix Gold in 2008, but the Indian avenged the loss at Dutch Grand Prix in 2010.

However, the No 22 had the upper hand on Friday, playing better overall game to outwit the Indian.

In the first game, Marc opened up a 4-1 lead but Jayaram clawed back with four straight points. The German again wrested the lead at 14-11 and held on to take the game.

In the second game, Jayaram was up 5-2 early on, but Marc did well to surge ahead to 16-9.

The Indian reduced the deficit a bit, but German won the crucial points to take the game and match.

Image: Saina Nehwal in action against Spain's Caroline Marin (not pictured) during their women's singles quarter-final at the Djarum Indonesia Open badminton tournament in Jakarta.

Photograph: Beawiharta/Reuters

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