Badminton World Championships: Saina Nehwal settles for bronze

first_imgSaina Nehwal failed in her pursuit for second straight final of the Badminton World Championships as she lost to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in Glasgow on Saturday.In a battle of physical strength, which lasted for 78 minutes, Okuhara came out triumphant and became the first Japanese to make it to the final of the World Championships.Saina started with fierce energy but failed to keep it going as Okuhara displayed brilliant fighting spirit to beat the former world No. 1.At 2-2 in the first game, Saina and Okuhara played a strenuous 32-shot rally where both players targetted the corners and Saina won the game of patience.From then on, Saina gained momentum and took 3 more points to lead 6-2.Saina took Okuhara out with a beautiful deceptive shot to race to an 8-2 lead.2015 – ??2017 – ??Saina Nehwal shines at the Worlds again. Her #2017BWC campaign comes to an end but not before she earns a medal for ???? pic.twitter.com/YuTFToFeyR- BAI Media (@BAI_Media) 26 August 2017Okuhara fought back and forced some long shots out of Saina to make it 5-9, only for Saina to send a delightfully perfect shot on the backline to put it back at 10-5.Forcing a mistake from Okuhara with an angled shot, Saina went into the break with an 11-6 lead.After the break, Saina continued the momentum and her aggressive yet patient display to extend her lead to 17-10.Saina controlled the rallies mixing her shots well and took Okuhara wider and wider to win points.advertisementDeception proved to be Saina’s weapon against the Japanese, which the Indian used to unsettle her and win the match point 20-12.She took just one opportunity to thereafter seal the first game.Okuhara began the second game with a bang as she picked four straight points forcing Saina wide to lead 4-0.Saina picked the first point of the game with a very cheeky return to Okuhara’s serve wide in the backcourt.Okuhara showed much better game as she targetted Saina’s movement to maintain her lead at 5-2.Saina shot right back to reduce the lead to 4-6 but Okuhara used similar wide angles to win the lead back at 8-4.Two more long shots from Okuhara after persistent returns from Saina reduced the lead to 8-6.At 9-6, Saina shot an exquisite angled smash to take her point tally to 7.Saina equalised the scoreline at 9-9 with a beautiful drop shot completely diagonal of Okuhara’s position but the Japanese went into the break with a slender 11-10 advantage.Nozomi Okuhara (AP Photo)Both Saina and Okuhara produced some beautiful overhead shots as Saina equalised at 15-15.Okuhara played a beautiful straight smash to get back her lead to 19-17. Unsettling Saina, Okuhara won the match point as the Indian put her smash wide and in a single opportunity, forced the match into the decider.Saina began the third game strongly and took a 3-1 lead only for Okuhara to get a lucky point and then win five straight points to lead 6-3.Three unforced errors from Saina increased Okuhara’s lead to 9-3 and the Japanese raced ahead into the break with an 11-4 lead.Saina made unforced errors after the break but smashed her way back to 6-13.Okuhara continued her assault on Saina’s knee making her move all around the court to keep her lead to 16-7.Okuhara continued her charge with absolute determination and Saina seemed to have lost steam as she gave Okuhara the match point with a smash that went wide.At 10-20, Saina judged Okuhara’s shot wrongly and handed the silver medal to the Japanese.Later in the day, PV Sindhu will be up against 19-year-old Chinese Chen Yufei, who won the Junior World Championships last year and beat Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 14-21, 21-16, 21-12 to reach the semi-finals.last_img

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