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Denmark Open: Saina Nehwal beats Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to storm into final


Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal thundered into the finals of the Denmark Open with a straight-sets win over Gregoria Mariska Tunjung, but it was the end for defending champion Kidambi Srikanth, who went down without a fight against Kento Momota in the semi-finals at Odense, on Saturday.

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Saina defeated the unseeded Indonesian 21-11, 21-12 in 42 minutes but Srikanth once again failed to cross the Japanese Momota, who won 16-21, 12-21 to reach his maiden Denmark Open final.

Facing the 19-year-old junior world champion for the first time, Saina raced to a 6-3 lead and comfortably pocketed the first game with a 10-point advantage victory.

Tunjung was clever in the second game and gave Saina a tough fight but the Olympics bronze medallist used her experience to the full to comfortably seal the victory and race into the final.

She will next face top-seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan on Sunday.

Also Read: Praveen Kumar announces retirement from all forms of international cricket

Earlier, the world number 10 had defeated the second-ranked Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in an intensely fought battle in the pre-quarters, before overseeing another Japanese and world number seven Nozomi Okuhara 17-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the quarterfinals.

Srikanth though failed to match Momota going down rather tepidly in a loop-sided men’s singles semi-final contest. The seventh-seeded Srikanth was sluggish and had no rhythm throughout the match.

Srikanth had defeated compatriot Sameer Verma in the quarters. Srikanth defeated Verma 22-20, 19-21, 23-21 in an hour long and 18 minutes match.

Meanwhile, in the doubles category, the women’s doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy lost to the top-seeded combo of Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota in the quarter-finals.

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