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Monday, June 24, 2024

Saina sails into pre-quarterfinals

LONDON: India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal cruised into the knockout stage of the women’s singles competition after notching up a comfortable straight-game win over Belgium’s Lianne Tan in a group stage match on Monday.

Saina Nehwal

The world number five Indian did not need to exert herself and was in complete control of the match as she saw off the Belgium girl 21-4, 21-14 in just 24 minutes at the Wembley arena.The fourth seed Indian is likely to take on Chinese-born Yao Jie of The Netherlands, ranked 20th in the world, in the knockout stage.The 22-year-old Indian was in her dominating best as she judged the shuttle well and had better idea of the court. She anticipated the moves of her opponent very easily and took just nine minutes to wrap up the first game in her favour.Lianne earned a couple of lucky points when the shuttle just kissed the net to fall in Saina’s side but beside that she didn’t pose any threat to the Indian in the first game.In the second game, the Belgium girl went all out and tried to create some chances but Saina at no point looked threatened.Lianne earned her points mostly when Saina faltered with her strokes which went to the nets a few times.However, the Indian was always in control as she digged in the repertoire of her strokes to move into the break at 11-8.After the breather, Saina started using her angled drops and tosses to move to the match point at 20-12.Lianne saved a couple of match points when Saina committed a few unforced errors but the Indian didn’t take long as she sealed the issue with a disguised angled drop to cement her place at the pre-quarters. PTI

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