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Saina bows out in semis but still in hunt for bronze

Last updated on: August 3, 2012 18:16 IST

Saina Nehwal bows out in semis, to play Wang Xin for bronze



India's ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was beaten in straight games by world No 1 Yihan Wang in the women's singles semi-finals at the London Olympics on Friday, but remains in the medal hunt as she will be competing in the bronze medal play-off against another Chinese, Wang Xin.

Up against the top seeded Chinese, Saina committed too many unforced errors and slumped to a 13-21, 13-21 defeat in the semi-final, which lasted 42 minutes, at the Wembley Arena.

- London Olympics 2012 - Complete coverage

There was very little margin for error, as Yihan was sharper, more accurate and also used her powerful smashes judiciosly to outwit the Indian.

The 22-year-old Indian committed too many unforced errors and trailed 6-11 at the interval in the first game. Although Saina tried to come back with the help of some brilliant net play, the Chinese employed immaculate placements and powerful smashes to lead take the first game.. 

Image: Saina Nehwal
Photographs: Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters


Yihan proved too superior

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In the second game, Saina matched her superior opponent initially and did trouble her to enjoy a one-point lead at the break. But the Chinese World champion soon started forcing the Indian into errors and moved ahead. 

Yihan anticipated the shots well and Saina hit wide and long time and again.

This was Yihan's sixth victory over Saina in as many encounters.

In the other semi-final Li Xuerui, the reigning All England champion, proved too good for compatriot Wang Xin, winning 22-20, 21-18.

Acknowledging Wang's superiority, the disappointed Indian said later that the Chinese was too fast for her.

"Wang was simply too fast for me. I was not moving well on the court and she exploited that. I made some errors in crucial stages which did not help me," she said.

"I tried hard in some areas but she just did not allow me to settle down and engage in rallies. She was finishing off quickly and was coming upto the net to attack. I could not counter that kind of a game," Saina explained.

Image: Wang Yihan
Photographs: Bazuki Muhammad / Reuters

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