Saina enters French Open semifinal

Paris: Top seed Saina Nehwal drew from her reservoir of experience to enter the French Open semifinal after a straight-game win over Thai teen Ratchanok Intanon in the semifinal here.

The world number three Indian won 22-20 22-20 in a 42-minute clash during which she was given some anxious moments by the 17-year-old Thai, who is ranked 10th in the international list and seeded seventh in the event.

Saina, fresh from her Denmark Open triumph last week, will now be up against fourth-seeded German Juliane Schenk, who powered past upcoming Chinese player Chen Xiao Jia 21-10 21-14.

It will be a replay of the Denmark Open final in which London Olympics bronze-medallist Saina had emerged triumphant to clinch her second Super series Premier title.

In Friday's match, Saina started well, taking an 11-7 lead in the first game but Intanon came back strongly to make it 20-20 before the Indian managed to clinch it with her eighth trademark smash of the game.

The second game followed a similar script as Intanon tested Saina with her fine strokeplay. But the 22-year-old Hyderabadi drew from experience to come out triumphant and inch closer to her third Super Series title this year.