Saina in Indonesia Open Final, Kashyap Loses

Jakarta, Jun 17 (IANS): India's Saina Nehwal marched into the final of the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier badminton event Saturday with a convincing victory over South Korean Ji Hyun Sung. However, compatriot Parupalli Kashyap's impressive run ended with a loss to local favourite Simon Santoso.

Fifth seeded Saina took just 50 minutes to dispose of her opponent 22-20, 21-18. She will now face China's Xuerui Li in the title match Sunday. Xuerui beat compatriot and top seed Yihan Wang in the other semi-final match.

Earlier, Kashyap lacked the consistency he possessed in the earlier matches and went down 15-21, 12-21 to the World No.9.  The 26th-ranked Indian would be happy with his maiden last four finish in a Super Series Premier event where he stunned top seed Chen Long and beat another higher-ranked player, Hans-Kristian Vittinghus of Denmark.

Kashyap had raised hopes of another upset going into the semifinals but he could not put up a fight against a player he is yet to beat in four meetings.  He had his moments in both the games but unforced errors,especially at the net, let him down.

It was 14-14 in the first game before Santoso gained a 18-14 lead to draw first blood in the match. Besides the lethal smashes and delightful net play, the home crowd cheering for him on every point added to his advantage.

It seemed Kashyap would fight back after taking a 5-1 lead in the second game. But that wasn't to be as he committed far too many errors at the net and failed to defend Santoso's powerful smashes on most occasions.


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