Saina Nehwal reaches Malaysia Open semifinals


KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-crowned World No. 1 Saina Nehwal on Friday edged out China’s Sun Yu to reach the women’s singles semifinals of the $500,000 Malaysia Open Super Series Premier badminton tournament.

The third seeded Indian eked out a 21-11, 18-21, 21-17 win over Sun in a quarterfinal battle that lasted an hour and 11 minutes at the Putra Stadium.

The girl from Hyderabad will next take on Olympic champion Li Xuerui, who had withdrawn from the BWF World Super series last year due to an injury and also skipped India Super Series last week.

The two-time World Championship silver medallist has defeated Saina eight times, while the Indian beat her twice — once during the 2010 Singapore Open and then at 2012 Indonesia Open.

The Olympic bronze medallist, who had a 2-1 record going into Friday’s match, stamped her authority right from the start as she didn’t give the Chinese any easy points.

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