India’s ace shuttler, Saina Nehwal registered her second win in Macau Open 2016 and advanced to the quarter-finals of the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Macau on Thursday. She defeated Indonesia’s Dinar Dyah Ayustine to make her way into the last eight.
Former World No 1 Saina bounced back from a game down to see off Ayustine 17-21 21-18 21-12 in a match which lasted over an hour in the women’s singles competition.
It was a good start from Saina Nehwal, who led the first game at the halfway mark, but the world No 50 staged a terrific comeback as she took the lead at 19-15, having trailed 7-10 to Saina earlier. Two points went either way and Dinar won the first game comfortably.
In the second, Saina surged to a similar 10-3 lead only to find the determined Dinar level it back at 18-18. However, the comeback was short-lived as Saina went on to take the next three points and drew the match level at 1-1. In the decider, it was the Indonesian shuttler who held a slender 4-2 lead early on but Saina turned the tables at 5-5 and moved ahead.
The manner in which Saina forced the comeback seemed to have taken the Indonesian by surprise as she went down 12-21, virtually without a fight, handing Saina Nehwal yet another hard-fought victory. The match lasted for 62 minutes.
Saina Nehwal will next face China’s Zhang Yiman for a place in the last four and currently she is India’s best bet in the tournament after Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu withdrew from the tournament.