London Olympics bronze medallist Saina Nehwal made her presence felt in front of a sparse crowd at the UP Badminton Academy here on Thursday.
After losing to Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the opener of the Premier Badminton League at Hyderabad earlier this week, the world no 10 defeated Nitchaon Jindapol 14-12, 11-7 to help Awadhe Warriors beat defending champions Delhi Acers 6 to -1. (FULL SCHEDULE)
The world No 16 Thai had a chance to surprise Saina as after levelling the score at seven, she was on game point at 12-11. But by missing a drop at the net she allowed Saina to level the score.
In the second game, Saina didn’t allow Nitchaon to free her arms and wrapped up the game in just 13 minutes. “Lucknow has always been a great venue and I am happy to be here,” said an elated Saina.
“I felt I played very good and it is actually satisfying to have such a great win after a long time,” she added.
Kidambi Srikanth underlined his potential for the Warriors, brushing aside Jan O Jorgensen 11-9, 11-13, 11-9. The duo of V Shem Goh and Markis Kido put the Warriors on the winning track, beating the pair of Akshay Dewalkar and Vladimir Ivanov 11-4, 11-4 in 15 minutes in the opening tie.
Savitree Amitrapai and Bodin Isara continued their winning streak, defeating Jwala Gutta and Vladimir Ivanov 12-10, 11-5 in mixed doubles to give the side a 5-0 lead.
Thereafter, Wing Ki Vincent Wong completed the formality, beating Son Wan Ho 11-8, 11-7 in the Acers’ trump match.