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Saina Nehwal enters semi-finals of Philippine Open Badminton
New Delhi | May 27, 2006 5:54:23 PM IST
 
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Teenage prodigy Saina Nehwal pulled off the biggest upset of the tournament to dump top seed Xu Huaiwen of Germany and booked a place in the semi-finals of the Philippine Open Badminton Championship.

Saina remains India's only hope as the men's doubles pair of Rupesh Kumar and Sanave Thomas went down fighting to higher-ranked Indonesian duo of Hendra A Gunawan and Joko Riyodi in the quarter-finals.

Sixteen-year-old Saina, ranked 86th in the world, made a remarkable fightback from one game down to post a 12-21, 21-17, 21-17 victory against the world number four German in a 53-minute battle in women's singles at Pasig City.

Saina, who had earlier upset world number 31 Shutheaswari Mudukasan of Malaysia on the opening day, will now meet Ai Goto of Japan in the last four, according to information received here today.

Goto, who had beaten another young Indian Sayali Gokhale on her way to the semi-finals, saw off a stiff challenge from Ratnasari Fransisca of Indonesia 21-12, 18-21, 21-17 in the quarter-finals.

World number 44 Rupseh Kumar-Sanave Thomas duo fought back in the second game after losing the first but could not sustain the momentum in the decider to suffer a 9-21, 21-12, 11-21 loss to world number 24 Indonesians in a 40-minute battle.

UNI PDS AY HS1710

 

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