Saina fails to cap great year after going down fighting to Xuerui  
Published on 15/12/2012     Source : Malaysia The Star

 Indian star Saina Nehwal failed in her bid to cap her remarkable year after she went down fighting to reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China last night.

Saina was unlucky not to clinch the opening game as she reached game-point at 20-16.

However, she made unforced errors to allow Xuerui to claw back and the tenacious Chinese went on to level 20-all, completing her stunning comeback with two trademark crosscourt smashes to win the first game.

Saina bounced back quickly to take the first game 7-21 but her troubled knee returned to haunt her.

Xuerui asserted control in the decider to win 21-13 to set up an-all China affair in the women’s singles final against Wang Shixian.

It will be a battle of attrition with Shixian determined to prove a point when she faces Xuerui.

Shixian, who was left out of the London Olympics earlier this year at the expense of the lower ranked Xuerui, ended the gallant run of Ratchanok Intanon by beating the Thai teenager 21-12, 21-19.

Saina made the final last year but lost to Wang Yihan of China.

Yihan is not playing this time after pulling out due to injury and was replaced by Shixian.

China received a blow to their hopes of bagging the men’s doubles crown for the first time after Olympic champions Fu Haifeng-Cai Yun had to hand a walkover to Japan’s Hiroyuki Endo-Kenichi Hayakawa in their semi-final.

Cai Yun strained his back while the Japanese were leading 13-9.

China’s Chen Long inched closer to achieving what he failed to do last year after beating Hong Kong’s Hu Yun 21-10, 21-18 in a men’s singles match played earlier. Chen Long lost to Lin Dan in last year’s final.

Danish mixed doubles pair Jaochim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen will have a chance to secure a second Super Series Finals title after they overcame Thai pair Sudket Prapakamol-Saralee Thoungthongkam 21-19, 21-13 for a final date with reigning Olympic champions Zhang Nan-Zhao Yunlei of China.

The Danes were winners in 2009.


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