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Saina enters Denmark Open semis

 ODENSE (DENMARK), Oct 20 (PTI): Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal set up a semifinal clash against old nemesis and world number one Yihan Wang of China after easing past local hope Tine Baun in straight games at the Denmark Open badminton tournament here.

Third seed Saina took just 33 minutes to beat fifth seed Baun 21-10 21-11 to make the last-four stage where she will be up against an opponent who has beaten her in all their six previous encounters. Saina, playing her first tournament after becoming the first Indian shuttler to fetch an Olympic medal (a bronze) in London, was hardly troubled in the match yesterday.

With her trademark smashes and better command over the baseline game, the world number four Indian dictated the proceedings and emerged triumphant.

This is Saina’s fourth straight win over Baun. The two had also come face to face in the London Olympics and the Indian had prevailed in that match.

In fact, Baun has not beaten Saina since November 2011’s Indonesia Open. Saina has a tough match coming up against Wang, who is the London Olympics silver-medallist. Incidentally, Wang had beaten Saina in the Olympic semifinals.

Ivanovic to meet Stosur in Moscow semis

Moscow, Oct 20 (IANS/RIA Novosti): Fourth seed Ana Ivanovic defeated qualifier Vesna Dolonc, ranked 160 in the world, to book an encounter with top-seeded Sam Stosur in the Kremlin Cup semifinals here.

The all-Serbian quarterfinal Friday lasted for just over an hour before the former World No. 1 completed a straight-forward 6-4, 6-1 win, despite being broken twice in the first set.

“It’s never easy playing someone from your own country, especially someone you don’t know,” said Ivanovic.

“I really knew very little about her. She’s a very good player. She played some great tennis at times today and I really hope she can develop and get to the top of the game.”

In the semifinal, Ivanovic will meet her top seed Stosur, who in the second round eased past another qualifier Valeria Solovieva, ranked 216 in the world.

Stosur earlier strolled past Klara Zakopalova of the Czech Republic 6-1, 6-3.

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