Posted on: August 29, 2013

IBL: Saina Nehwal’s dramatic feat steered Hyderabad Hotshots into the finals

By Antara Das

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IBL: Saina Nehwal’s dramatic feat steered Hyderabad Hotshots into the finals

To the delight of Hyderabad Hotshots, they stormed into the finals of the inaugural Indian Badminton League (IBL) scoring 3-0 in the first semi-finals against Pune Pistons at the GMC Balayogi indoor stadium tonight.

Star shuttler and Hyderabad Hotshots' asset Saina Nehwal banged Juliane Schenk of Pune Pistons by 21-10, 19-21, 11-8 in the women's singles. On the other side, Ajay Jayaram overpowered Tien Minh Nyugen by 21-17, 21-11. Previously, Saina survived some apprehensive moments before persisting over Schenk in a tough contest as the Hotshots dominated by 2-0 over Pune Pistons. Moreover, Hyderabad's icon player Saina won a tense decider following she could not finish off the match during the 2nd game.

On the other side, Jayaram hauled a stunning victory over the top-ranked Tien Minh Nyugen in the 1st match.

In fact, the match between Saina and Schenk, who are currently world No.4 and No.3, respectively, proved to be an enthusiastic battle marked by long rallies, drop shots and powerful smashes as both were attempting to outsmart each other. The first game advanced in Saina's favor as she managed to extend her initial lead of 7-3 during the time of the first break to a colossal 14-4 by the 2nd interval. Further, Saina gained momentum as the game progressed and few unforced errors were undoing for her German rival who conceded the first game by 10-21.

However, Schenk continued with an aggressive fight in the 2nd game which consisted of long rallies between the two as they did not allow any chance to score pass away.

In addition, Saina had an edge of 7-6 by the first break and successfully took it to 14-8 by the 2nd interval. Remarkably, Schenk staged a marvelous comeback and settled the score at 18-18 before pushing the game to 21-19. Notably, the decider was eagerly fought between the two celebrated players while the spectators were glued on the edge of their seats. Ultimately, Saina finished the duel at 11-8.

Saina commented post match that she lost her focus in the 2nd game and failed to retrieve a few shots. Schenk managed to change her shots a little bit, which proved to be quite dangerous. But she just thought about winning a few seconds and finally got herself back in action to win the match.

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