Heartbreak as Saina loses in semis

Saina Nehwal
London, Aug 3: It was heartbreak for Saina Nehwal and Indian fans as she lost to Wang Yihan of China in the London Olympics 2012 semi-finals. Yihan won 21-13, 21-13.

Saina still has a chance of bronze medal as she awaits the other losing semi-finalist. It will again be a Chinese player as the second semi-final is between China's Wang Xin and Xuerui Li. Saina will face Xin for bronze medal. Xin lost 20-22, 18-21 to Li.

"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," Saina said after the match.

"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," she added.

It was always going to be tough for the world number five Indian against the world's top player. History was also against Saina as she had lost all her previous five matches against Yihan. But the 22-year-old from Hyderabad kept fighting before going down to a better player.

Things did not start off on a good note for Saina as Yihan dominated from the word go. Yihan raced to a 13-6 lead in the first game and won the game 21-13 in 20 minutes.

However, Saina never gave up in the second and briefly held lead. From 8-10, she held a one-point advantage at 11-10. But from there on, Yihan grew stronger and stronger never allowing the Indian to come back. It was again an identical score of 21-13 for the 24-year-old Chinese. The match was in Yihan's favour in 42 minutes.

In the match, Yihan scored 24 points with her service. Sain managed only nine.Yihan had biggest leads of 9 (first game) and 8 (second). Saina never enjoyed a cushion of big lead. She could muster only 1-point lead, which was the biggest for her in both games.

Earlier updates

Saina Nehwal arrived onto the Wembley Arena Court 1 with loud cheers form Indian fans. Saina, the world number five is up against the world's top player. It should be an interesting battle.

History points to Yihan's advantage as she had beaten Saina in all their five previous meetings.

But it is time for Saina to change that record. What better stage than an Olympics. It should really inspire her to give her the best.

Saina Nehwal Vs Wang Yihan (0-5)

Previous meetings

Malaysia Open (14.1.2012) Yihan won 21-15, 21-16

BWF World Super series Finals 2011 (18.12.2011) Yihan won 18-21, 21-13, 21-13

China Masters (16.9.2011) Yihan won 21-8, 21-12

Indonesia Open (26.06.2011) Yihan won 12-21, 23-21, 21-14

Thomas Uber Cup Finals 2010 (12.5.2010) Yihan won 14-21, 21-11, 21-18

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