Saina Nehwal crushed a feeble challenge by Jie Liu of China to storm into the semifinals of World Junior Badminton Championship in Incheon, South Korea.
World No 32 Saina kept the Indian hopes alive of bagging the girls' singles title after sweeping aside Jie 21-18, 21-8 in 34 minutes to book a berth in the last four.
The 16-year old Saina, who is just two games away from becoming the first Indian to win the world junior crown in badminton, will meet Bae Youn Joo of Korea on Friday.
Joo was made to sweat by Wen Cheng of China but the Korean finally prevailed 10-21, 21-15, 21-14.
In the other semifinal, top seed Yihan Wang of China will take on another Korean Moon Hi Kim.
Saina said she was taking the tournament match by match and not thinking about the title at the moment.
I knew that my opponent was a good player so I was prepared for a tough match. I knew that it will be a hard work today and I am happy with the way I played, she told the agency from Incheon.
I moved well in the court. The first game was close and she (Jie) was very tired after that. I took my chances in the second game, she said.
I am playing well and I am not thinking about the title. I want to win the semifinal first. That would also be a tough match, she said.(sport.indiatimes.com)