Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal lost against Li Xuerui in the opening match of the semifinals against China.IANS

China, the powerhouse of world badminton, defeated India in the semi-finals of the Uber Cup on Friday in front of their home fans. The 13-time champions, China will be gunning for yet another Uber Cup win as they prepare for the final, which will take place on Saturday. China are set to face the winner of the other semi-final between Korea and Japan.

Even before 2016 Uber Cup started, China were the team to beat as they possessed some of the best players in the world in both the singles as well as the doubles competition. And the Chinese shuttlers were at their menacing best against India, who lost the tie 3-0.

Saina Nehwal played some decent badminton in the first match of the tie against Li Xuerui, but the Chinese was better, and won the first game. Despite Saina winning the second game, Xuerui, who was well-supported by the home crowd, clinched the third, and with it, gained crucial 1-0 lead as well.

With Saina losing her first match, there was immense pressure on PV Sindhu to defeat Wang Shixian in the second. Sindhu had come into this clash confident as he had not lost a single match in Uber Cup 2016, but she had not faced a player like Shixian, who is one of the best shuttlers in the world.

Sindhu, after losing the first game quite easily, performed better in the second, and was enjoying a decent lead as well. But, Shixian showed some great fighting spirit, and clinched the match 21-13, 23-21.

China, with 2-0 lead, were just a win away from the finals, and their doubles pair of Tian Qing and Zhao Yunlei did not have much trouble in defeating Jwala Gutta and Sikki Reddy in straight games. The score read 21-6, 21-6. 

Despite the loss, India will not go empty-handed from China as Saina and co. were assured of bronze medal after defeating Thailand in the quarters, and reaching the semifinals. India won bronze in the last edition of the Uber Cup as well.