Kuala Lumpur: Top Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal failed to qualify for the $500,000 BWF Super Series Finals semi-final despite winning her last women’s singles Group B match against Yeon Ju Bae of South Korea here Friday.
Saina won her hour-long match 21-11, 17-21, 21-13 at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium but failed to qualify for the last four on the basis of games lost. She needed to win the match in straight games to have any chance of qualifying for the last four.
World No.1 and defending champion Li Xuerui of China won all three matches and had already qualified Thursday.
Yeon, Saina and Japan’s Minatsu Mitani had a win each in the group but the latter lost out with the least number of games pocketed in the tourney. Yeon and Saina, however, had won three games each but the Korean qualified on the basis of losing four games to five Saina.
This was the Indian’s first win over the World No.7 this year and Saina extended her head-to-head to 6-4.
The Hyderabadi totally dominated the first game. From 6-6, she raced away by clinching 15 points to Yeon’s five. The Korean came back well by levelling the match in the second game, thereby cancelling Saina’s chances of qualifying.
The World No.6 took home a consolation win in the deciding game but it came a little too late.