BWF World Championships | Saina Nehwal overcomes Kirsty Gilmour to enter semis

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BWF World Championships | Saina Nehwal overcomes Kirsty Gilmour to enter semis

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SportsCafe Desk

08/26/2017

Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal got the better of Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour in the quarterfinals of the BWF World Championships, defeating the latter 21-19, 18-21, 21-15 to enter the semi-finals. Saina's win assured India of two medals after PV Sindhu sealed the semi finals berth earlier in the day.

The fifth day of the BWF World Championships started on a bad note for the Indian badminton fans with Srikanth Kidambi's quarterfinals defeat at the hands of World No. 1 San Wan Ho. In contrast, PV Sindhu cruised past China's Sun Yu in just 39 minutes to cheer up the Indian fans and thus assuring herself and the nation at least a bronze medal.

All eyes were on Saina Nehwal later in the day after she had defeated World No. 3 Sung Ji-Hyun in the pre-quarters and was set to take on Scotland's Kristy Gilmour in the quarterfinals in Glasgow. Saina started the game on the offensive taking a 2-1 lead before racing ahead to 6-2 in the match. However, Kristy Gilmour ensured that the Hyderabadi shuttler did not breeze past her and clawed her way back into the game by leveling it at 8-8. The Scot then snatched the lead from Saina for the first time in the game and finished 11-8 at the break.

The determined Saina was adamant to not let the first game slip from her hands while Kirsty had the same motives. Both the players kept the match in the balance with no player taking a clear lead to emerge as the favourite to win the first game. However, Saina outplayed Kristy 21-19 to seal the first game in her favour and was then just a game away from entering the semi finals.

The second game began on a similar note where both the players denied each other even an inch and the game was yet again tied at 4-4. However, Gilmour emerged as the more aggressive of the two players to take a 12-9 lead to give something to the home crowd to cheer about. She extended her lead to 16-11 but her Indian opponent was too fired up to let her give an easy win in the match and after a couple of rallies closed the gap down to 19-16. However, the six-point lead eventually proved enough for the Scot, who leveled the match with a second game win of 21-18.

The deciding game started with Saina taking an early lead of 5-1 and unlike the first game, the Hyderabadi shuttler not only maintained her four-point cushion but extended her lead to 11-5 at the break. Although Gilmour tried to script a comeback in the game, Saina did not commit any errors and won the decider 21-15 to enter the semi finals of the tournament. With Saina's win, India are assured to return with two medals from the BWF World Championships for the first time in the history of the game.

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