World No. 6 Saina Nehwal beat Malaysia's Mew Choo Wong 20-22, 21-14, 21-12 to win the Yonex-Sunrise India Open Grand Prix, thus clinching her second international title at home. She had won the Lucknow Grand Prix last year.
It wasn’t the best of starts for the champion on Sunday. Showing signs of nervousness, Saina, down 1-3, struggled to get into a rhythm and soon the Malaysian was leading 7-4.
“I wasn’t able to play properly at the net. Mew was moving well and hitting the shots at the right places and she raced away to win the first game,” said Saina. To add to her owes, the top seed also misjudged shots.
Mew realized she needed to keep Saina at the net in order to win points. Even as the Indian kept committing mistakes and was unable to clear the shuttle off the court on several occasions, Mew took out another weapon from her armoury.
Launching fast and short rallies, Mew took her opponent by surprise. Saina tried to counter her by playing high shots, but Wong was in no mood to relent.
The third game witnessed a transformed Saina. Not only did she survive the rallies, she maintained control at the net and sealed the match by putting her smashes to good use.
In the men’s singles, Yunus Alamsyah of Indonesia got the better of India’s RMV Gurusaidutt 21-13, 21-18.
Verma re-elected BAI chief
The much-anticipated face off between Mohd Azharuddin and V K Verma ended in a damp squib after the former backed out of the Badminton Association of India elections, clearing the decks for a fourth term for the incumbent president. PTI