Shixian prevails in battle of Wangs

New Delhi, April 5: Reigning All-England champion shuttler Shixian Wang ousted fellow Chinese and former World Champion Yihan Wang to enter the women’s singles final of the $250,000 India Open Super Series here Saturday.

Seeded second, Shixian battled Yihan all the way to the end of decider to just edge past 15-21, 21-7, 22-20 in 58 minutes in a battle of two former World No.1′s at the Siri Fort Sports Complex. With the win, the World No.3 has now bettered her career record to 4-9 against the Olympic silver medallist.

The reigning Asian Games champion Shixian will next take on compatriot and current Olympic champion Li Xuerui, against whom the second seed has a 3-4 record.

World No.1 Xuerui, on the other hand, took care of another Chinese Xin Liu by winning 21-12, 21-13 in 32 minutes in the other semifinal.

Later in the day, World No.1 Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia made his fourth consecutive final here by overcoming a tough fight from Chinese seventh seed Du Pengyu to win 21-17, 19-21, 21-14 in one hour and 12 minutes. This is the defending champion’s 12th triumph over the Chinese in 13 meetings.

In the process, the top seed has set up an epic final against Chinese World No.2 and nemesis Chen Long. Though the head-to-head of the world’s two best players is level at 8-8, Lee won their previous meeting to clinch the All-England title last month.

Long had a tough semifinal outing against Danish World No.5 Jan O Jorgensen but eventually prevailed 21-15, 21-23, 21-19 in the longest match of the day, lasting an hour and 19 minutes. The Chinese second seed now has a 6-0 record over the Dane.

In the last match on Court 2, it was a close match with 2010 World Championship bronze medallist Shixian winning only 10 more points than Yihan in the entire match. While Shixian took home 58 points, Yihan bagged 48.

After dominating and trading the first two games, the decider turned out to be a neck-and-neck affair with the biggest gap being only of two points in the middle when Shixian led 14-12.

Thereon, both the Chinese shared points one after the other till Shixian reached gamepoint (20-19). Yihan was able to save that point but Shixian displayed nerves of steel to bag the all-important last two points to take home the match.

IANS