Saina Nehwal failed to reach the finals of the 2021 Orleans Open Super 100 as she crashed out of in the semifinals of the tournament against world no. 38 Line Christophersen by 17-21, 17-21.
Saina was last seen playing the final of any tournament at the Indonesia Masters in 2019 which she had won as her opponent Carolina Marin had to retire due to an injury.
The first game ensued on a neck-to-neck contest as both the contestants tried to bridge the gap in time. At the interval, the Danish established a 11-9 lead. Saina recovered soon but continued committing errors which handed Christophersen a first game win by 21-17.
Saina picked up an early lead in the second game and was ahead with 3 points at 6-3. However, the Danish recovered soon with some brilliant cross-court moves at 6-7. At the interval, Saina had a three-point lead of 11-8. Christophersen was trying to play versatile moves all over the court which made Saina look fatigued and eventually the lead closed down at 12-12. The Danish eventually took the lead in the race and went on winning point by point. Sainaclosed in at 16-18 and then an error by opponent made it 17-18. However, Christophersen reigned supreme and earned three match points. She went on winning 20-17.
The women's duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy faltered 18-12 9-21 to the top seeded Thai pair of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai in the semifinals.
However, Krishna and Vishnu cheered up the Indian camp with a 21-17 21-17 win over the English pair of Callum Hemming and Steven Stallwood in a 35-minute semifinal clash to reach their maiden final of a Super 100 event.The Indian duo, playing its first event together this year, will take on fourth seeded English pair of Ben Lane and Sean Vendy in the title clash on Sunday.
In the mixed doubles, Ashwini Ponnappa and Dhruv Kapila lost their semifinal match to the Danish pair of Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund, 9-21 23-21 7-21.
Krishna and Vishnu had a slender 4-2 early on but the English pair soon jumped to a 11-8 lead at the break. However, the Indians caught up at 13-13 and marched on to seal the opening game. In the second game, Krishna and Vishnu slowly moved ahead to a 11-7 advantage at the interval and even though their rivals narrowed down the gap to 15-17, the Indian duo ensured there was no hiccups.
Krishna, 21, is India's top ranked doubles player and used to pair up with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy in his junior days. Krishna and Satwik had won the Asian Under-17 title together. After Satwik and Chirag Shetty were paired together, Krishna started playing with Dhruv Kapila since November 2016. The duo continued for two and half years before separating in 2019.
Krishna had earlier paired with Shlok Ramchandran also. He had produced a dazzling performance in the 2019 Premier Badminton League alongside Lee Yong Dae for the North Eastern Warriors.
For the 20-year-old Vishnu, it's his first international tournament at the senior level. A tall and aggressive player from Hyderabad, Vishnu has also played with a few other Indian doubles players in his junior days. Vishnu and Ishaan Bhatnagar had reached the finals at the 2019 Bulgarian Junior international.