Odense, October 20: India's Saina Nehwal outclassed Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to enter the final of the Denmark Open on Saturday but Kidambi Srikanth crashed out after losing to World No 1 and world champion Kento Momota of Japan.
Saina defeated Gregoria with consummate ease 21-11, 21-12 to enter the title round where she will face World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying on Sunday (October 21).
Time to settle scores!💪🇮🇳🎯@NSaina thrashes Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia in straight games, 21-11; 21-12 to enter the finals of #DenmarkOpen750 for the second time since 2012. Will face-off with World No 1, #TaiTzuYing in the finals. #IndiaontheRise #badminton pic.twitter.com/KRZInCIQpF— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) October 20, 2018
Srikanth failed even to put up a fight as he went down 16-21, 12-21 against his fancied Japanese opponent.
In the women's singles semis Saina, ranked 10th, had recovered after the losing the first game to beat familiar foe and world number seven Okuhura of Japan 17-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the quarterfinal lasting 58 minutes on Friday. But she showed little signs of that tiring match this day against the Indonesian opponent.
The final point of the match was a long rally which ended with the Japanese finding the net. It was a morale boosting for the Indian star, having lost her previous three meetings to Okuhara including the most recent one in Korea last month. Saina had also lost to the 2017 World Champion during the team event at the Asian Games in August. Overall, their head-to-head record stands at 7-4 in the Indian's favour.
Earlier, Srikanth too had to dig deep against countryman Verma with little separating the two in an intense men's singles quarterfinal. In the end, world number six Srikanth prevailed over the 23-ranked Indian in an epic battle lasting an hour and 18 minutes with the final scoreline reading 22-20, 19-21, 23-21.