Saina, the Japanese Wall and the Story of 2nd Round Shockers

After overcoming the China Wall, and being ranked first time World No. 1 in 2014, the biggest challenge for Saina in 2015 has been the Japanese Wall in the form of Minatsu Mitani, who has knocked her out twice in the second round of last two tournaments when they met. Saina finally broke the losing cycle and won French Open 2nd round vs Mitani. Here is the complete history of Saina vs Mitani matches, and Saina’s French Open performance.

French Open 2015: 2nd Round Matches for Indians

Saina’s Performance at French Open

    2009 French Super Series: 8th seed Saina Lost QF to Top Seed Lin Wang (China) 15-21 21-11 21-15
    2010 Saina did not Play
    2011 4th seed Saina lost in 2nd round to Li Xuerui 21-18 30-29
    2012 Saina lost the final to Mitani
    2013 Saina Lost in 2nd Round
    2014 Saina lost in QF

Summary of Last 10 Meetings
There was no problem for Saina in the first three matches where she won all the three matches. her first loss to Mitani came in their fourth meeting when Mitani won the big final at French Open. After that she lost the group match to Mitani at World Superseries Finals 2013 too. 2014 was better, as Saina won both the matches against her. But while 2015 has been a good year for Saina as she reached World No.1 ranking for the first time in her career, she has surprisingly lost both the last two matches to Mitani, who has knocked Saina out in Japan Open and Denmark Open. In both the tournaments, Saina was knocked out in the 2nd round.

Saina leads Minatsu Mitani (Japan) 6-4

    2015 French Open Saina won 21-19 21-16
    2015 Denmark Open Saina Lost 18-21 13-21
    2015 Japan Open Saina Lost 13-21 16-21
    2014 Denmark Open Saina Won 21-12 21-10
    2014 Thomas & Uber Cups Saina Won 21-12 21-13
    2013 World Superseries Finals Saina Lost 21-19 22-24 19-21
    2012 French Open Saina Lost 19-21 11-21
    2012 Denmark Open Saina Won 21-15 21-14
    2012 Swiss Open Saina Won 21-16 21-18
    2011 Thailand Open Saina Won 21-13 15-21 21-7

After 2012 loss in final, Saina’s best finish at French Open was last year when she reached the quarter finals. Saina has been a revelation for World Badminton. She is the one who broke Chinese Wall when none in the world could. With that confidence, climbing the Japanese Wall may not take longer time now.

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