World Badminton Championship Highlights: Okuhara beats Nehwal 12-21, 21-17, 21-10, bronze for India

Saina Nehwal could not make the first win in game count as she got outclassed by Japan's Okuhara by 12-21, 21-17, 21-10 in the semi-final

Saina Nehwal will have to settle with a bronze medal as she loses to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara!

19:13 IST It’s game point for Okuhara, 9-20. She tries to make comeback with one point but Okuhara betters it in the end, she has made her way back winning the match by 12-21, 21-17, 21-10.

19:11 IST Okuhara is now capitalising on the lead she has over Nehwal with every shot, 7-18. She challenges on the next one as the shuttle falls after hitting the net, 8-18. Okuhara misses this one, hits the nets, 9-18. After toiling hard, Nehwal plays the shot wide of the line, 9-19.

19:08 IST Nehwal will have to settle with a bronze medal, this does not seem to be going her way. Every shot she has been trying has been falling shot, 7-17.

19:07 IST Just when it seemed Saina was making her way back with a point, she conceded another, she is getting tired now, 7-14.

19:04 IST It was a tiring round for Nehwal-Okuhara but the latter caught the former wrong-footed, 4-12. Nehwal gets one point for a while, 5-12. Another silly shot from here, 5-13. Nehwal attacks this time as Okuhara could not get to the shuttle in time, 6-13.

19:02 IST Once again, the net shot goes wrong for Nehwal in the deciding game, 4-11.

19:00 IST Nehwal plays it too wide, Okuhara was quick to judge that one, 3-8. Another shot around the nets gone wrong, 3-9. This is getting one-sided now, she looks tired, 3-10. A point for Nehwal after a long time, Okuhara falls on the court, 4-10.

18:58 IST A long rally followed up by a set-up shot from Okuhara, the third game is getting out of hands gradually, 3-6. A golden opportunity missed by Nehwal, she is disappointed in herself, 3-7.

18:56 IST Okuhara plays it nicely on the nets, that’s the best point of the day to suffice, Okuhara plays it on the nets, just whizzes her racket towards it., 3-2. Three straight points for Okuhara, she is making every opporytunity count, 3-5.

18:54 IST Good judgment from Nehwal again, lets the shuttle drop outside, 2-1. Perhaps the longest rally of the day, Okuhara tries to do something different and loses patience, hits the nets, 3-1.

18:52 IST The third set is underway. Meanwhile, crowd chant ‘Ganpati Bappa Maurya’! Okuhara gets one point to start with, Nehwal hits it just outside the line, 0-1. This time she gets the shot right, 1-1.

18:48 IST A smash gone wrong from Nehwal, just outside the line, 17-20. The second set goes to Okuhara, wins it by 21-17.

18:46 IST Smart thinking from Nehwal, once again caught Okuhara wrong footed, the shot goes wide, 17-17. This one goes completely across, Nehwal was in no position to play that one, 17-18. Okuhara gets a two point lead, Nehwal was slow to respond on that occasion, 17-19.

18:45 IST This time Nehwal’s judgment goes wrong, the score is 16-17.

18:44 IST That was too close, Nehwal misses a perfect drop shot by an inch, 15-16. This is the most intense set of the day. A failed service from Okuhara, Nehwal lets it fall outside, 16-16.

18:42 IST The previous rally had 24 shots, Nehwal showed resilience, she is narrowing the margin, 13-15. She is back in the second set, 14-15. Good judgement from Nehwal, 15-15 is the score now.

18:40 IST One point each for both the shuttlers, this game is still alive, 11-14. The crowds are chanting Nehwal’s name. Okuhara mistimes, 12-14. A drop shot from her, the score is 12-15.

18:38 IST The second part of the second set is underway. Nehwal could not get the first point post-break, 10-12. Good play from Okuhara, once again Nehwal plays it past the line on the right, 10-13.

18:36 IST Nehwal hits the shuttler outside the line, this time Okuhara judges it well, 9-10. It;s 10-10 as Okuhara fails in her own game, could not get it past the nets. She makes up for it, 11-10. Playing close to the nets.

18:34 IST Whoa! this is getting more and more interesting with every rally. A near miss for Okuhara as Nehwal watches the shuttle fall close to the line. A perfect smash wide of Okuhara, the scores are level now, 9-9.

18:32 IST A misdirected shot from Okuhara, that was wide, 5-8. Nehwal’s judgement is unperturbed, just watches the shuttle fall outside the line, 6-8. Oh! just missed the net, 6-9. A perfect shot off the service of Okuhara, Nehwal making her way back into the set, 7-9.

18:30 IST Beaten two times around the net, Nehwal is struggling in the second set, 4-8.

18:29 IST One point each for both the shuttlers, hitting the shuttle in the nets, 3-6. Nehwal is back in the set, once again Okuhara misjudges it., 4-6.

18:27 IST Okuhara has gained momentum here, another failed net shot, 0-4. Nehwal gets her first point in the first set, did not yell this time, 1-4. Nehwal is back in the game with her service, 2-4. Okuhara plays it around the nets, 2-5.

18:25 IST The second set is underway. Okuhara gets the first point, a failed net shot from Nehwal, 0-1. A perfect drop shot from Okuhara, beats Saina, 0-2. Okuhara is on fire in the second set, third point in a row, 0-3.

18:21 IST Game point for Nehwal! 20-12. The crowd is supporting her, she has dominated Okuhara in the first set, she wins it! 21-12

18:20 IST A mistimed net shot from Nehwal, Okuhara trying to make a comeback in the first set. Shift of momentum for her, another point, 18-12. Okuhara was once again caught wrong footed as she could not come forward, 19-12.

18:18 IST Nehwal is getting a tad bit under pressure aftert three points, she shows patience and gets one more point, 17-10. Okuhara plays one cross shot way too wide from Nehwal, reviews that one, another point for Nehwal, 18-10.

18:17 IST Aggression from Okuhara this time around, gets one point, is this the comeback she was looking for, 15-7. She gets it just wide of the line on Nehwals’ right, another point for her, 16-7. Three straight points for Okuhara, she is trying to make a comeback now attacking Nehwal, 16-10.

18:14 IST Wrong judgement from Okuhara once again, she is not happy with herself, 13-6. She wants a change of shuttle but denied. A misdirected cross shot from Okuhara, the score is 14;6. Nehwal dominating the first set. Another point for Nehwal, this is just getting better and better, 15-6.

18:12 IST Nehwal gets the first point after the break, that one just landed inside the line. Okuhara did not offer a shot at that time, 12-6.

18:09 IST This time around Nehwal beats Okuhara in her own game, the shuttle lands just inside the line, 10-5. Okuhara sets up Nehwal for a smash to her right, 10-6. A failed net shot from Okuhara, Nehwal is leading by 11-6.

18:07 IST Good judgement from Okuhara this time, lets the shuttle land outside, 9-4. Another point for Okuhara and once again good judgement, 9-5.

18:05 IST Another long rally, Okuhara was caught wrong-footed with consecutive net shots, 8-2. Here comes a point for Okuhara after 6 points, Smash does the trick this time. Nehwal extends the lead again, 9-3.

18:04 IST Another point for Saina, she is making it all count, 4-2. She is extending her lead, Okuhara could not time it well as the shuttler falls in her court, 5-2. The pressure is clearly on Okuhara, she has been outclassed by a perfect net shot, 6-2 Her comes another, Nehwal is on top of her game, 7-2.

18:02 IST The longest rally of the first set, Nehwal plays it close to the line, she takes the lead, 3-2.

18:01 IST Nehwal takes the first serve. Nehwal smartly engages Okuhara near the nets and then drops the shuttle to her left, first point for Nehwal. Okuhara makes up for it with a drop shot, the scores are level. Nehwal comes up with the perfect smash, 2-1. Okuequalsquals it, 2-2. 

17:57 IST Saina Nehwal and Nozomi Okuhara are in the court for the semi-final match!

17:44 IST The women’s doubles game is into it’s third set. Saina Nehwal’s semi-final clash is not far behind.

17:27 IST The semi-final is expected to start around 18:00 ISTStay tuned for more updates.

17:16 IST Saina Nehwal is currently ranked No.16 whereas Nozomi Okuhara is ranked No.16, will she get through? Stay tuned to catch the latest updates.

17:13 IST The semi-final clash might get delayed as Women’s Doubles semi-final clash is still underway.

India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal has already assured India of a bronze medal in World Badminton Championships. Nehwal will be looking to make it even better by taking on Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-final of the tournament. Nehwal is in good form having beaten the World No. 31 Kristy Gilmour in a marathon match with final scoreline reading 21-19, 18-21, 21-15. The Olympic Bronze medallist managed to win a silver medal in the previous edition of the World Badminton Championships held in Jakarta. The 27-year-old will be looking to be consistent in her efforts and once again make it to the finals of the tournament.

If Nehwal manages to register a win in the semi-final, it will be the first step towards an all-India final between her and PV Sindhu who will be taking on China’s Chen Yufei. If this happens, it will be a big boost for the sport as India’s top-ranked shuttlers will go up against each other and the nation will be ensured of two medals, gold, and silver.

Nehwal will be in high spirits ahead of the semi-final clash despite ranked lower than Okuhara. Nehwal has managed to beat Okuhara 6 times out of 7 in their previous clashes. She would be looking to extend her lead.

Okuhara ousted two-time defending champion Carolina Marin of Spain with a 21-18, 14-21, 21-15 victory in an hour and 33 minutes which means it will be a neck-to-neck battle between her and Nehwal.

Marin is the same shuttler who bagged a gold medal and stopped PV Sindhu’s magical run in Rio Olympics 2016.