India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was beaten in straight games by world number one Yihan Wang in the women’s singles semifinals at the London Olympics here today but remained in the medal hunt as she will be competing in the bronze medal play-off tomorrow.

Up against the top seeded Chinese, Saina committed too many unforced errors to see her dreams of winning a gold medal crashing after slumping to a 13-21 13-21 defeat in the semi-final tie which lasted for 42 minutes at the Wembley Arena here.

The fourth seeded Indian will next take on the loser of the other semi-final match between Xin Wang and Li Xuerui in the bronze medal play off tomorrow.

There was very little margin for error for Saina as Yihan was sharper, more accurate and also used her powerful smashes to outwit the Indian here.

The 22-year-old committed too many unforced errors to lag 6-11 at the interval in the first game. Although Saina tried to come back with the help of some brilliant net play, the Chinese employed some immaculate placements and powerful smashes to lead 1-0.

In the second game, Saina tried to match her superior rival and did trouble her to enjoy a one-point lead at the break. But the Chinese world champion soon started forcing Saina to commit errors and moved ahead.

Yihan anticipated the shots and was better prepared and, with Saina hitting wide and long, the Chinese had no problem in cementing her place in the finals.

This was Yihan’s sixth victory over Saina in as many encounters.

(This article was published on August 3, 2012)
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