HONG KONG: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal rallied to register a scintillating three-game victory over Shixian Wang of China to clinch her third Super Series title of the year at the Hong Kong Open in Wanchai Sunday.
Saina, who is placed at the fourth position in world rankings, is likely to inch closer to the number one spot with this resounding victory.
The 20-year-old Indian capped her career’s fourth Super Series title triumph with a 15-21 21-16 21-17 win over the third seed Chinese in a gruelling one hour and 11 minutes summit clash at the Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
The girl from Hyderabad won back-to-back titles – Indian Open Grand Prix, Singapore Open Super Series and defended the Indonesian Super Series – before clinching the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games in October here.
Saina played a tactical game after she lost the first game and clawed her way back with some fast-paced rallies and powerful smashes to outwit the Chinese world number five. In the second game, Saina jumped to 11-5 from 5-5 but Shixian narrowed the gap to 11-10 before the gutsy Indian surged ahead to 19-11 by registering seven straight points. But Saina missed a couple of points on the baseline and nets to allow Shixian close the gap to 19-16. But with the Chinese hitting the shuttle out, Saina was back into the match.
“I can’t believe it. It’s a very good win for me. Shixian has been in really good form this season. I am happy that I could beat her. I was nervous after losing the first game but the match turned in my favour after the second game. In the third game, my target was to maintain the lead and I was successful in doing that,” an elated Saina said.
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