Jakarta: India's top shuttler Saina Nehwal moved a step closer to defending her Indonesian Open Super Series title as she reached the semifinals with a straight-game victory over Denmark's Tine Baun on Friday.
The fourth seed Indian registered a hard-fought 21-19 21-19 win over Tine, seeded eighth, in a match that lasted for 37 minutes.
The 21-year-old Indian will now take on Chinese Taipei's Shao Chieh Cheng in the semifinals tomorrow. Unseeded Shao beat seventh seed Xin Liu 21-17 21-15 in another quarterfinal match.
Saina has lost two close matches against the Dane in their previous two encounters but today the world No 4 made sure that she doesn't fall in the same trap and raised her game during crucial moments to wrest initiative.
Saina had opened a three-point lead initially but Tine reeled off seven straight points to zoom to 10-6 but the Indian caught up with the Dane at 12-all and after neck-and-neck battle kept her upper hand to pocket the first game.
The second game was also a rollercoaster ride for Saina as lead exchanged hands quite frequently though the Indian had a 4-1 lead initially.
The girl from Hyderabad finally broke the norm from 17-all and reached 20-18 and though the warring Dane saved a match point, it was all over soon.
The 2008 and 2010 All England winner, Tine had beaten Saina at the All England Super Series in 2010 and Hong Kong Super Series in 2007.
First Published: Friday, June 24, 2011, 18:23