Srikanth and Saina enters Semi finals of the Denmark Open 2018
India’s Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth have entered the semifinals of the Denmark Open in their respective categories with a hard-fought victory over Nozomi Okuhara and Sameer Verma respectively.
Saina,who is currently ranked 10th, recovered after the losing the first game to beat familiar foe and world number seven Okuhura of Japan 17-21, 21-16, 21-12 in the quarterfinal lasting 58 minutes on Friday night.
The final point of the match was a long rally which ended with the Japanese finding the net. Saina has lost to Okuhara in her last three meetings including the most recent one in Korea last month and hence this victory will be a huge morale booster for the Indian star.
Saina by beating Okuhara has now become the second Indian player to go through to the semi-finals of the Denmark Open after Kidambi Srikanth Saina next faces world number 19 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia.
Fellow Indian Srikanth too had to fight really hard for the victory against fellow countryman Sameer in a closely won competition lasting an hour and 18 minutes with the final scoreline reading 22-20, 19-21, 23-21.
The two Indians had not played each prior the quarterfinal and their first meeting turned out to be a slugfest. The heated battle continued as both shuttlers took it down to the wire. The scores went from 18-18 to 20-20 and then to 21-21 before Srikanth held his nerve to take the game at 23-21.
Srikanth plays second seed and world number one Kento Momota of Japan in the semifinal to be held later on Saturday. The formidable Japanese enjoys an 8-3 career record over Srikanth and has not lost to the Indian in their last five meetings.