Saina Nehwal reaches French Open Super Series final

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Saina Nehwal
Paris, Oct 28: World No 3 Saina Nehwal defeated Germany's Juliane Schenk 21-19, 21-8 to reach the final of the French Open Super Series badminton championship here yesterday.

The ace Hyderabadi shuttler, who is looking to win her third Super Series title of the year, will face Minatsu Mitani of Japan in the final today. (The match will be telecast live on Neo Sports channel in the evening.) Minatsu beat her compatriot Eriko Hirose 21-19, 21-10 in the other semi-final.

In a repeat of the Denmark Open final that was played at Odense on Oct 21, Saina trailed 0-3 at the start before she cut down on her errors to make it 6-all. Though the fourth seed subsequently took a 15-10 lead, the London Olympics bronze medallist won six of the next seven points to level the scores.

At this juncture, the chair umpire accepted Juliane's repeated requests to test the speed of the shuttle. Saina's concentration was apparently affected by the interruption and she allowed the German to move to 19-16. However, the top seed reeled off five points in a row to clinch the first game.

The 22-year-old continued the momentum by bagging the first eight points in the second game. Juliane tried her best to stay within touch but Saina was just too good. At match point, Juliane could not control her shot and thus lost to the Indian for the second time in six days.

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