SINGAPORE OPEN 2010 SF – Saina’s back-to-back finals showdowns

Staying true to her first seed status, Saina Nehwal (photo) of India marched into the finals of Li-Ning Singapore Open Super Series 2010. In a rematch of Indonesia Open Super […]


Staying true to her first seed status, Saina Nehwal (photo) of India marched into the finals of Li-Ning Super Series 2010. In a rematch of Indonesia Open Super Series 2009 exactly 364 days ago, Saina once again defeated the reigning World Champion Lu Lan, this time in a three-game semi-final that ended 8-21, 21-17, 21-8.

By: Timothy Chan, Badzine Correspondent, reporting live from Singapore Indoor Stadium.  Photos: Badmintonphoto (live)

I was really nervous in the first game,” said Saina of her 8-21 loss in the first game. However, the recent India Open Champion managed to regain her composure in the second game. “I tried to push her into more rallies. I know that Lu Lan gets nervous really easily, so I was just waiting that moment to come and started attacking her even more.

This second game win seemed to quieten the Chinese supporters’ cheering of “Lu Lan Jia You” and instead some fans supporting Saina started to cheer her “India Jia You” in Chinese. Saina said that she actually liked that cheer and it spurred her on to work harder in the third game.

Confidence from previous victories helped me a lot. Lu Lan also made a lot of mistakes in the third game,” explained Saina.

I didn’t expect to win so easily in the first game. This was when I became a bit complacent in the second game. When she started catching up, I became nervous and started making mistakes,” reflected the World Champion. “I think my physical ability and strength are good, but I definitely have some areas of improvement such as my mental strength in games.

sin2010-sf-boonsakIn the only showdown between returning champions, Peter Gade lost to Thailand’s Boonsak Ponsana (photo) 22-20, 17-21, 16-21. After losing his first game, the Thai ace unleashed more smashes in the second and third games, and together with his cool returns when being attacked, he sent the Dane crashing out of the semi-final.

Boonsak’s final test will be Indonesia’s seventh-seeded Sony Dwi Kuncoro, who ousted a determined Kashyap Parupalli in two tight games 21-19, 22-20.

For the final against Sony, it will be a 50-50 match. I must keep having confidence,” weighed Boonsak on his chance of winning the title for the second time.

In the mixed doubles, the dynamic Danish duo of Thomas Laybourn / Kamilla Rytter Juhl faced little problem in overcoming Hendra Aprida Gunawan / Vita Marissa as shown by the convincing 21-15, 21-13 score. “It has not been easy playing in this tournament. But we just try to be very calm and relaxed,” Juhl said. They will also face another Indonesian pairing in the finals on Sunday.

Seeded #1, Nova Widianto and Lilyana Natsir were in the same jubilant spirit as the Danish pair, overcoming Chen Hung Ling / Cheng Wen Hsing 21-14, 24-22. It was a relief for the Indonesians that history did not repeat itself when they lost in the semi-final of last year’s Singapore Open.

It will be a refreshing day tomorrow that will see new faces atop the podium. A whopping seven players will be featuring in their inaugural Super Series final – Shinta Mulia Sari, Yao Lei, Kim Min Jung, Fang Chieh Min, Lee Sheng Mu, Tai Tzu Ying and Howard Bach. Stay tuned to Badzine as we bring you all the action from the finals on Sunday, live in Singapore.

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