Kuala Lumpur, Jan 18 (IANS) India's top shuttler Saina Nehwal progressed to the semifinals of the women's singles at the Malaysian Open Super Series in fortuitous fashion with the her Japanese opponent retiring in the deciding set here Friday.
Nozomi Okuhara came back from a set down but injured her knee in the decider, handing the Olympic bronze medallist a 21-11, 14-21, 2-0 win.
Saina was in cruise control in the first set, winning five consecutive and hitting five clear winners. However, the lower ranked Japanese hit the ground running in the second taking a 9-1 lead.
The top seed hitback winning eight consecutive points but Nozomi kept her cool to close the game 21-14 in her favour.
In the final set, Saina took a two nil lead after which her opponent decided to retire due to a troubled knee.
Saina will now face sixth seed Tzu Ying Tai of Chinese Taipei Saturday.