New Delhi, June 11: Ace Shuttler Saina Nehwal staved off a scare from Indonesian Adrianti Firdasari in a thrilling three-game match to reach the women's singles quarterfinals of the Singapore Open Super Series in Singapore City.
Sixth seed Saina beat 19th ranked Firdasari 21-18, 17-21, 21-17 in a 50-minute battle to set up a clash with third seed Chinese Lin Wang.
Wang, who is world number four, beat Korean Hye Youn Hwang 21-10, 21-10 in another pre-quarterfinal match.
In the tooth and nail battle, Saina was lagging behind 7-8 in the first game
but the Hyderabadi shuttler held her nerves and first drew parity at 9-9 and then opened up a lead of five points at 17-12. Her Indonesian rival, however, narrowed the gap to 19-18 before Saina raced away sealing the game 21-18.
In the second game, Saina marched ahead with a 6-3 lead but Firdasari came from behind and made it 7-11 and although Saina played her heart out, she could not but see the game slip through her fingers at 17-21.
Saina again opened up a 4-1 lead in the last game and although her Indonesian counterpart drew parity at 9-9 and 11-11, the world number 7 Indian kept the pressure on and after moving 15-12, 16-13 and 18-15, finally sealed the match at 21-16.