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Saina loses in semis of Superseries Finals

Saina loses in semis of Superseries Finals

Dubai: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal lost 21-11, 13-21, 9-21 to Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-final of the $1,000,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Finals at the Hamdan Sports Complex here Saturday.

World No.4 Saina had a very good start in the first game but the 2014 Asian Games bronze medallist Tai produced an array of deceptive drop shots and combated Saina's smashes with sharp net play to win the match in 55 minutes.

In the first game, Saina produced an aggressive game that rattled Tai. The imposing Indian opened up a 8-2 early lead which became 11-5 at the break. With Saina's cross-court smashes falling in place, the Hyderabadi girl grabbed five straight points to race away to a 15-5 lead. She eventually pocketed the game 21-11.

However, World No.9 Tai pulled things back in the second game. Though Saina had a similar start, taking a 4-0 lead, she couldn't keep the momentum going. Tai quickly erased the four-point deficit and raced away to a five-point advantage at the break. Tai was sharper at the net as compared to Saina, who was not particularly mobile on the court.

At the other end, Tai was quick with her backhand returns and rattled the Hyderabadi's defence on several occasions. Still Saina fought her way back and equalised at the 12-point mark.

Relying on her delectable drop shots and well disguised slices, the 20-year-old Tai pressurised the 24-year-old Saina. The Taipei shuttler took five points on the trot to close out the second game at 21-13.

Saina continued to make mistakes in the decider as well, allowing Tai to take a 7-2 lead. Saina's problems swelled as Tai bagged seven successive points to widen the lead 14-3. Those seven points virtually ended Saina's victory hopes, eventually losing 9-21.

With this win, Tai improved her one-on-one career record to 4-5 while Saina closed her Superseries season with a 37-11 win-loss record.

Later in the day, leading male shuttler Kidambi Srikanth will face reigning World champion Chinese Chen Long for a place in the final.

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