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Saina, Srikanth reach maiden final

 NEW DELHI, March 28 (PTI): Crowned the world number one, Saina Nehwal today celebrated her numero uno status with a straight-game demolition of Japanese Yui Hashimoto, while Kidambi Srikanth too saw off Xue Song of China to reach their maiden finals at the Yonex Sunrise India Super Series here.

The Olympic bronze medallist, Saina became the world number one even before she took the court for the semifinals after her closest competitor Carolina Marin of Spain lost in the other last-four match against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

The girl from Hyderabad thrashed Hashimoto 21-15, 21-11 in a match that lasted for 43 minutes to set up a title clash with former world champion Intanon. Saina has a 5-3 head-to-head record against the Thai player. But Saina had beaten her the last time they played at the Uber Cup here.

World No. 4 Srikanth, who had clinched the Swiss Open earlier this month, also made his second successive finals after prevailing over Chinese qualifier Xue Song 21-16 21-13 in a 42-minute match. He will take on Viktor Axelsen in the summit clash which will be a rematch of the Swiss Open final.

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