Saina in Australian Open final; Srikanth exits

Saina received a big boost ahead of her Rio Games campaign as she defeated the 2012 Olympic silver medallist Wang Yihan 21-8 21-12 in just over half an hour in the semifinals. Kidambi Srikanth's fight ended with a disappointing 20-22 13-21 loss against Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus.

Saina Nehwal will look to clinch her first title of the season in the final against Sun Yu.   -  PTI (File Photo)

Saina Nehwal is a win away from her maiden title of the season as she advanced to the final of Australian Open Super Series by beating World No. 2 Wang Yihan of China in the women's singles event here today.

In men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth's fight ended with a disappointing 20-22 13-21 loss against Denmark's Hans-Kristian Vittinghus in a 43-minute semifinal battle.

Saina received a big boost ahead of her Rio Games campaign as she defeated the 2012 Olympic silver medallist Yihan 21-8 21-12 in just over half an hour in the semifinals.

The eighth ranked Indian will take on World No. 12 Sun Yu of China, who defeated third seed and compatriot Li Xuerui in another semifinals, in the summit clash tomorrow.

Saina, who won the tournament in 2014, has a 5-1 record against Sun, who had upstaged the Indian at the 2013 China Open.

Saina was at her dominating best in the opening game. She executed her plans perfectly and zoomed to a 15-6 lead against Yihan. The Indian came up with some sharp angled returns to bamboozle the Chinese. Her slices and smashes were sharper then Yihan, who seemed off-colour.

A quick movement and a brilliant smash down the line took Saina to 12 game points and she grabbed the first game when Yihan hit wide.

In the second game, Saina disallowed the intensity to slip and rode on Yihan's sluggish movement and inconsistent strokes to lead 11-4 with a cross court return as they moved to the interval. After the break, she changed the pace and came up with a wide variety of strokes to make Yihan run across the court.

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