India’s Ace Shuttler and World number 5 won her third title in 2014 and her first China Open when she overcame the challenge from Japanese Akane Yamaguchi 21-12, 22- 20 in the finals of the women’s singles competition. Saina’s vast experience stood tall against a 35th ranked rookie shuttler who made her way into the finals courtesy some upsets including fifth seed Yeon Ju Bae of Korea in the semi-finals.

The Japanese tried her level best in the second game but crumbled under pressure and some quality stuff from Saina helped her to pocket the second game and with that the China Open Title too. After dominating Saina in the initial stages of the second game, Yamaguchi was outplayed by her experienced opponent in the final stages as Saina hung on to the second game 22-10. 

Earlier in the match, the sixth seeded Saina quickly came into the groove with an early a 3-1 lead in the first game which set the tone for the Indian ace. Yamaguchi simply didn’t have any ideas for Saina’s smashes as she simply managed to reach out but couldn’t succeed in returning courtesy the power generated by Saina during those smashes. Saina’s drop shot when she was leading at 8-6 was the talking point of the first game as she raced away to a 11-7 advantage in the halfway mark. Yamaguchi, who won the World Junior Championships recently struggled to place her shuttles as she lost the first game 12-21.

India’s Kidambi Srikanth will play his finals of the men’s category against two-time Olympic and five-time world Champion Lin Dan of China.

Image Courtesy: Indian Express


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