Saina in semifinals; Jayaram ousted

Saina in semifinals; Jayaram ousted

 Former World No 1 Saina Nehwal stayed on course for the women’s singles title at the season-opening Malaysia Masters after she advanced to the semifinals of the USD 120,000 Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament here on Friday.

London Olympics bronze medallist Saina dished out a dominating show to edge past eighth seed Indonesian Fitriani Fitriani 21-15, 21-14 in a 40-minute contest. 

The top-seeded Indian, who had clinched the Australian Open Super Series title last year, will face Hong Kong’s Yip Pui Yin in the semifinals. Saina has a 6-2 head-to-head record against Yin, who had last beaten the Indian at the 2010 Asian Games.

In the men’s singles,  Ajay Jayaram found the going tough against Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka Ginting, who beat the sixth-seeded Indian 21-13, 21-8.

This was Jayaram’s third defeat to the Indonesian, having lost to him at Hyderabad Asia Team Championship and French Open as well.

Saina took her own time to get her bearing against Fitriani, who quickly opened up a 4-0 lead and consolidated her position to reach 11-6 lead at the interval. However, the Indian soon pulled her act together and played well to clinch the tie.

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