Top seed Saina Nehwal of India on Friday booked her place in the women's semi-finals, beating Thailand's Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-13, 21-19 at the BWF World Super Series Masters Finals.
Nehwal, who became the first Indian to win the World Junior title last year, stopped Porntip with some brilliant badminton in a 33-minute encounter.
"When the draw was made I knew it wouldn't be easy. And when I lost to Mew Choo I was well aware that I needed to win my next two matches to make the semi-finals," said Nehwal.
"When I took the court against Porntip, I was not thinking of the semi-finals. I just wanted to go out there and win, which I did."
Nehwal created Indian badminton history by reaching the quarter-finals in the Beijing Olympics.
She won the Taiwan Open last year, and this year achieved another first for Indian badminton by claiming the Indonesian Open Super Series title in July.
Meanwhile, Indonesia's former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat, a semi-finalist last year, bowed out without a win when he lost to Hsieh Yu-hsin of Taiwan in his last Group A match. The Taiwanese won 21-17, 21-15.
In Group B men's singles, Denmark?s Peter Gade Christensen toiled for 67 minutes before coming out the winner, 21-13, 20-22, 21-15, in a thriller over Thailand?s Boonsak Ponsana that secured his place in the semi-finals.
The win earned him a mouth-watering semi-finals encounter against defending champion Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who is also world number one.
"I am ready to face Chong Wei," said the Dane, delighted with his performance in the tournament.
"I am proud that an old man like me can take on a younger player like Boonsak. This was a fighting game. It is quite difficult to play a player like Boonsak," Gade said.
The Gade-Boonsak match was not short on value as both players needed to win to advance but it turned out a heartbreaker for the Thai number one, who was left shaking his head in defeat.
"There was nothing much I could do although I managed to take him to three sets. Peter controlled the match while I had no power in my smashes. Things simply did not go the way I expected," said Boonsak.
In the men?s doubles, defending champions Koo Kien Keat and Tan Boon Heong of Malaysia were bundled out of the richest badminton tournament in the world when they lost 21-7 16-21 21-12 to China?s Xu Chen and Guo Zhendong in their final Group A match.
Source: AFP Global Edition