In a dramatic comeback, badminton World No.4 Saina Nehwal of India won her second round match against Japanese Minatsu Mitani to advance to the women’s singles quarterfinals of the Denmark Open Super Series Premier here Thursday.
The third-seeded Indian defeated the unseeded Japanese World No.28 21-15, 21-14 in 20 minutes. The scores, however, were no true reflection of the match-play.
The third-seeded Indian defeated the unseeded Japanese World No.28 21-15, 21-14 in 20 minutes. AP
In the first game, Minatsu surprised Saina by clinching the first 15 points without losing her serve, going 15-0 up. In an amazing turnaround, the Hyderabadi fought back to win the next 21 points, 20 on her own serve, to take the game 21-15.
The second game saw the scoreline behave in a regular manner.
Though the 22-year-old Indian led throughout, Minatsu stayed close. But at 17-14, Saina took the next four points to take the game and match away, entering the last eight where she will face either old rival Tine Baun of Switzerland or qualifier Lok Yan Poon of Hong Kong.
This was Saina’s third win over the Japanese in as many matches.
This is Saina’s first tournament since she won the Olympic bronze medal in London Aug 5.
In men’s singles action, Sourabh Verma lost 19-21, 17-21 in 44 minutes to Indonesian Sony Dwi Kuncoro in round two.
Verma, earlier Wednesday, beat former World No.1 Peter Gade of Denmark 21-18, 21-14 in the first round.