The Chinese shuttler needed just 35 minutes to beat Saina 21-12, 21-17 in the quarter-finals of the women's singles category.
Zhang dominated right from the start, taking an 8-5 lead early in the first game.
Saina managed to draw level at 8-8 but Zhang won five back-to-back points to bolster her advantage to 14-8 before closing out the game.
Saina dominated the early stages of the second game, putting the local favourite under pressure.
The Hyderabad shuttler raced to a 6-0 lead before Zhang won five consecutive points to close the gap.
It was a neck-and-neck affair till 11-11 before Zhang won three consecutive points.
Although Saina equalised at 14-14, the Chinese star produced a five-point burst to clinch what ultimately proved to be a decisive lead.