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World Badminton Championship 2018: Sindhu in semis, Saina, Praneet crash out

By Unnikrishnan
PV Sindhu outclasses Nozomi Okuhara to enter the semifinals of the World Badminton Championship

Nanjing, August 3: PV Sindhu outsmarted Nozomi Okuhara 21-17, 21-19 to enter the semifinals of the World Championships while Saina Nehwal crashed out as she suffered a straight-game loss to two-time champion Carolina Marin here on Friday (August 3).

It turned out to be a lop-sided contest between the 2015 edition finalists as reigning Olympic champion Marin once again produced her 'A' game on the big occasion to complete an emphatic 21-6, 21-11 victory. Meanwhile, B Sai Praneet also bowed after losing 12-21, 12-21 against Japan's Kento Momoto.

A 5-4 head-to-head count meant little as Marin dismantled Saina with consummate ease. "Her movement was very quick today. She was moving so fast and covering the court very quickly. The kind of shots that she played, it seemed like she was suddenly very fast. Also I had a late match yesterday, so to face someone so quick was difficult. I didn't understand what to do, she never gave me a chance to play my game," Saina told reporters.

Marin said: "I'm doing well since first day. I was in control today. I'm the fastest in the world, it is my strength and I have to keep doing it. I am happy to reach the semifinal. The favourite player (Tai Tzu Ying) to win the tournament lost today, so I'll try to give my best tomorrow against China's He Bingjiao."

Marin took just 12 minutes to race away with the first game after earning 14 points when Saina failed to retrieve a shot. The Spaniard closed it with a smash from close to the net.

Saina showed better fight in the early stages of the second game but Marin managed an 11-8 advantage at the break. She stifled Saina with her stroke play and placement to surge ahead.

Marin gained 10 match points when Saina found the net and closed the match when the Indian went long again.

Earlier in the day, the mixed doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa too lost their last-eight clash 17-21, 10-21 to Chinese duo of Huang Yuxiang and Zheng Saisai.

Now, two Indians are left at the tournament - P V Sindhu takes on defending Champion Nozomi Okuhara later in the evening, while in the men's singles Sai Praneeth meets sixth seed Kento Momoto.

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    Story first published: Friday, August 3, 2018, 13:59 [IST]
    Other articles published on Aug 3, 2018
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