Badminton Life

New Zealand Badminton Stars Set for Beijing

For one player at the recent Singapore Open, a semi final defeat may have knocked her out of the tournament but she was able to take great pride in her performance. Reaching the final four was the best showing that India's Saina Newhal has managed in a major tournament in a circuit event so far and will likely give her a much needed boost for the forthcoming Olympic Games. Not only was it her best showing, it was the best performance by anyone from India at a Super Series event, which should give her even further confidence when she looks back on the tournament.

It was a very spirited performance from the young badminton star and it took three sets for her to be dismissed from the tournament. Things were looking positive for Newhal when she managed a victory in the first set by the score of 21-17. Unfortunately for the Indian starlet, Mi Zhou from Hong Kong stepped up her level of performance and tied the match at one set each by winning the second set by a score of 21-19. The closeness of this would match must have frustrated Newhal a great deal, knowing that she would have been so close to a final slot.

In the third and final set, Zhou triumphed yet again, this time by the score of 21-11 to book her place in the final. The match took a total of 55 minutes and both players can be proud of their achievements in producing such a fine match but as always, there can only be one winner in a semi-final and it was Saina Newhal who was left disappointed by the outcome. Given that Mi Zhou was the fifth seed in the tournament, and ranked number 8 in the world has to be looked at and overall, it wasn't a bad showing by the young Indian player.

There is no doubt that Newhal will look back on the second set where the score was tied at 19 all and think what might have been but these are the sort of experiences that helps shape a players development. It is often said that people learn more from mistakes and difficult times so if Newhal can respond favorably after this set back, it will not be long before she is celebrating title triumphs of her own.

There is still a lot of top level badminton to be played before the Olympic Games and Newhal has a busy schedule. Her next stop is to take part in the Indonesian Open then she will be pitting her wits in the Thailand Open. Some players like to rest up before major tournaments but it seems as though others are looking to play as much as possible before the Olympic Games.

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