Saina enters women's final; Guru Sai Dutt goes down fighting

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Pune, Nov 1 (UNI) Saina Nehwal kept India's hopes of annexing atleast one title after beating Wang Shixian of China 22-20, 21-11 to reach the final of women's singles event of the World Junior Badminton Championship here today.

However, India's hopes in the men's event ended when Guru Sai Dutt went down fighting to Zhengming Wang in three sets 16-21, 21-17, 17-21.

Saina faced a tough fight in the first set, with the Chinese girl not letting the India star get away as the score went neck and neck.

However, Saina used her experience to pull away from the Chinese girl using the smash to good effect and win the first set on extra points at 22-20.

The second set went Saina's way from the beginning, with her opponent wilting against the tremendous pressure which Saina put on her. Saina dominated the set right form the beginning and won eventually by a comfortable margin of 21-12.

Saina later expressed satisfaction on her performance, saying she will try her best in the final against Japanese Sayaka Sato.

In the men's singles semifinal Guru Sai Dutt took some time to warm up losing the first set easily at 16-21 against Zhengming Wang.

The Indian, however came into his own with his retreiving game as he won the second set 21-17 to force the match into a deciding third set.

In the third set Zhengming Wang took an early lead of 11-5 and though Guru Sai Dutt tried to make a comeback, the early lead conceded was too much and the Indian had to bow out losing 17-21 in the final set.

Indian coach Gopichand speaking to mediapersons after the match, said Guru played really well and the match was very close.

Gopichand conceded that the big gap of six points early in the third set proved to be Guru's undoing.

''He however still performed very well,'' he said.

UNI XR-GS AB RKM AS2009

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