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Saina gets into groove before the Olympics

other Updated: Jun 11, 2012 01:21 IST
Anamika Nandedkar
Anamika Nandedkar
Hindustan Times
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Saina Nehwal added another title to add to her crowded trophy case with a perfectly-timed final victory in the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold badminton tournament in Bangkok on Sunday.

She beat Thailand's rising star and world No.11 Inthanon Ratchanok 19-21, 21-15, 21-10 to win her second title of the year.

In front of a full-house which was supporting the home favourite, Saina overcame a one-game deficit, obliging the handful of Indian supporters who had turned up to cheer for her.

Inthanon attacked the Indian from the beginning and raced 19-12 ahead, but a patient and calm Saina clawed back to 20-19. National coach P. Gopi Chand felt she could have closed out the first game too, but lauded the fact that she did not let that affect her focus. The world No.5 was in total control thereafter and countered Inthanon's aggression with her net play.

But for Saina, the title was not as important as the confidence she gained from it. "I just wanted to play as many matches against top players before the London Olympics. I want to be in good form and I am happy I was able to win here."

Saina has little time to relish her maiden Thai title. She will be joining her teammates in Jakarta for the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier, one of her favourite events. She has won twice and finished runner-up once in the last three years there, and has a lot of ranking points to defend.