London 2012: Day 7 – Women’s Singles Semis: Wang Yihan Routs Nehwal

It was Beijing revisited at the London Olympics this morning as Wang Yihan guaranteed an all-Chinese Women’s Singles final.

The top seed’s defeat of Indian shuttler, Saina Nehwal, in the semi-finals ensured badminton powerhouse China will again savour gold and silver as the other semi was between Chinese teammates Li Xuerui and Wang Xin.

The likelihood of a medals clean sweep in this category was always on, given three of the four players left in the competition were the same nationality. The odd player out was Nehwal and the crowd was firmly behind her as she attempted to break China’s domination.

It was an electric atmosphere in Wembley Arena and, with action now down to just the centre court, the tension could be cut with a knife as both players entered the venue

The opening game saw both the 24-year-old and Nehwal trading points as both took time to settle and find their rhythm. Wang went on a run of four consecutive points when the game was tied 4-4 which proved to be the catalyst for her first-game victory.  Nehwal, 22, struggled with her length throughout the game and even a run of four points on her own serve while trailing 18-9 was not enough to break Wang Yihan’s stranglehold as the Chinese took the game 21-13.

The Chinese world champion, with two-time Olympic gold medallist Zhang Ning in her corner, led 6-2 in the second game. Nehwal’s never-say-die attitude kept the Indian in touch and, as she led 12-11, some felt she might still have a chance to make the Olympic final.

Wang Yihan, sensing the momentum was starting to swing, was forced to find another gear which she duly did. The Chinese world No. 1 blew Nehwal off the court in the second half of the game, allowing her opponent a solitary point as she booked her final spot with a 21-13 win in the second game.

“My main strength is my commitment to the game,” said a philosophical Wang Yihan. “I gave all I had today and it does not matter to me who I play in the final.”

Nehwal, obviously disappointed by her performance, rued her ability to control the length as she struggled with the drift.

“Today I just did not find my rhythm which I can probably say was something to do with the quality of play from Wang Yihan. I struggled to find my length to the baseline which affected my confidence.”

The second all-Chinese semi-final between Li Xuerui and Wang Xin looked close on paper. The match itself was played in true Olympic spirit but it was Li Xuerui who prevailed in straight games 22-20 21-18; setting up a gold medal match between arguably the best two women’s singles players of the past 12 months.

“I am so happy to be in the Olympic final after the coaches had faith to pick me to come here. I have never beaten Wang Xin before and now I look forward to the final and taking on Wang Yihan,” commented the beaming Li.

Wang Xin has the consolation of a bronze match against Nehwal as China strive to go one better than four years ago and achieve a clean sweep in Women’s Singles.

Olympic and Paralympic News

History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

History-Making Danes Thwart China – Day 6 Session 1: Rio 2016

16 August 2016
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Doubles: Careers Complete with Golden Sweep

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

London 2012: Day 9 – Men’s Singles: He’s ‘Dan’ It!

5 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s Faith with Gold

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Singles : Li Xuerui Repays Country’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

London 2012: Day 8 – Women’s Doubles: Double Take for Zhao Yunlei

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s Gain

London 2012: Day 8 – Men’s Doubles Semis: Korea’s Loss is Denmark’s...

4 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong Wei in Golden Showdown

London 2012: Day 7 – Men’s Singles Semis: Lin Dan, Lee Chong...

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

London 2012: Day 7 – Zhang-Zhao Tops World of Mixed Doubles

3 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in Semi-finals

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 3: Lin Dan, Chong Wei in...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 2: China Assured of Mixed Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles Gold

London 2012: Day 6 – Session 1: Four Countries Eye Men’s Doubles...

2 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 3: Great Medal Expectations for Saina

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to Ratchanok

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 2: Juliane Schenk Crashes Out to...

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

London 2012: Day 5 – Session 1: Final Bow for European Greats

1 August 2012
London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

London 2012: Koreans’ Appeal Rejected; Indonesia’s Withdrawn

1 August 2012
London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

London 2012: Four Pairs Disqualified

1 August 2012
London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

London 2012: Badminton Players to Answer Charges

1 August 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to ‘Double Up’

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 3: Lee Yong Dae Looking to...

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 2: Cordon Creates Continental History

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

London 2012: Day 4 – Session 1: Chinese Doubly Surprised!

31 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 3: Korea’s Top Guns Bow Out

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 2: Injury Pulls Poles Apart

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for Sri Lankan Flag Bearer

London 2012: Day 3 – Session 1: Olympics Gets Even Better for...

30 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale to Careers

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 3: Chinese Focused on Golden Finale...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 2: Beware the Baby-Faced Assassins

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the London Olympics

London 2012: Day 2 – Session 1: Brits Going Home from the...

29 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 3: Australians’ Fighting Spirit to the Fore

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 3: Australians’ Fighting Spirit to the...

28 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 2: Anu ‘Finnish-ed’ Losing at Olympics

28 July 2012
London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

London 2012: Day 1 – Session 1: Russians Surprise British Hopefuls

28 July 2012
London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

London 2012: Weight of Country and Continent on Schenk’s Shoulders

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone else’

London 2012: Lin Dan: ‘I was just an ordinary kid like anyone...

27 July 2012
London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

London 2012: Lee Chong Wei takes on ghost of Wembley

27 July 2012
London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

London 2012: Another Starry Accomplishment in Li Lingwei’s Brilliant Career

26 July 2012
London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For  Sir Craig Reedie

London 2012: BWF President Hails ‘Worthy Recognition’ For Sir Craig Reedie

26 July 2012
London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

London 2012: Self-belief breathes new life into Kashyap

26 July 2012
London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

London 2012: Brother and sister create badminton history

26 July 2012
Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

Robertson lights up Wembley Arena with Olympic torch

25 July 2012
London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

London 2012: Cai and Fu: Seeking the missing piece to their collection

24 July 2012
London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

London 2012: Olympic Games LIVE DRAW

23 July 2012
London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

London 2012 Lilyana Natsir: The key to Indonesia’s golden hopes

19 July 2012
London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

London 2012: World Championships bronze inspires Ponnappa

16 July 2012
London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

London 2012: India’s chief strategist plots London game plan

15 July 2012
London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior leads country

London 2012: ‘Czech’ out Petr in Opening Ceremony – badminton’s gritty warrior...

12 July 2012
London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

London 2012 Olympic Games Qualification: Li Xuerui’s London calling

10 July 2012
London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

London 2012: Malaysia’s golden boy still hunting for titles

29 June 2012