Saina Nehwal is back to her winning ways after recovering from a career-threatening knee injury suffered during Rio Olympics. The Indian badminton ace beat Thailand teenager Pornpawee Chochuwong 22-20, 22-20 in the final of the Malaysia Masters Grand…
In the second game too,Saina Nehwal’s Thai opponent took an early 3-0 lead before the Indian clawed back into the game by engaging Chochuwong in long rallies which is the Hyderabadi’s strongest asset.
After levelling at eight points, Saina looked to consolidate her lead, but Chochuwong kept the pressure up on the Indian. Chochuwong’s on court movement slowed down a bit and Saina took advantage of it by upping the ante.
Saina was a point away from winning the second game just when Chochuwong took three consecutive points to keep the game in balance at 20-20. Saina, however, held her nerves to wrap up the thrilling final in straights games.
Doubts were raised on Saina’s future after her early exit from Rio. Several experts reckoned that she made a hasty return to competitive badminton after the surgery. However, all those concerns was dispelled after Sunday’s super show.
Former World Number 1 Saina Nehwal has added yet another title to her already bulging trophy cabinet — the Malaysian Masters 2017 title.
From Olympic medal to super series titles, the ace Indian shuttler has won it all in her illustrious career.
Let’s take a look at some of the greatest victories of Saina Nehwal yet –
Indonesia Open Super Series 2009, 2010 & 2012
Saina became the first Indian ever to win a super series title in 2009 by winning the Indonesia Open in June.
The Hyderabadi recorded a comeback victory — 12-21, 21-18, 21-9 — over Wang Lin to clinch her maiden BWF super series crown.
Nehwal went on to successfully defend her Indonesia title in 2010 before winning it once again in 2012.
India Open Grand Prix Gold 2010
Saina was awarded the top-seed after a brilliant 2009 season and the Indian superstar didn’t disappoint infront of home support.
Nehwal beat Malaysian second seed Wong Chew 20-22, 21-14, 21-12 in 56 minutes to clinch the title and justify her tag as the number one seed.
Singapore Open Super Series 2010
Saina clinched her second super series title by winning the Singapore Open in the same year, albeit in the absence of top-5 women’s singles players of the world.
The Indian top seed beat World Champion Lu Lan of China in the semis to book a place in the final. Saina then outclassed Chinese qualifier Tai-Tzu Ying 21–18, 21–15 to clinch the title in Singapore.
Commonwealth Games 2010
Top seed Saina Nehwal became the first women Indian shuttler to win a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games after a grueling three-game victory over Malaysian Mew Choo Wong in 2010.
Saina bounced back from a game down to battle past Wong 19-21 23-21 21-13 in a nerve-wrecking 70-minute title clash in New Delhi.
Saina’s medal also helped India move above England into the second place in the medal tally.
Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold 2011 & 2012
Second seed Saina Nehwal won her maiden Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold in 2011 by beating Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea 21–13, 21–14 in Basel.
Nehwal successfully defended her crown in 2012 by thumping then World No 2 Wang Shixian of China 21–19,21–16.
Beijing Olympics 2012
Saina Nehwal created history by becoming the first Indian ever to win a medal at the Olympics by winning bronze in Beijing 2012.
Saina comfortably progressed into the quarters without dropping a single game in the four matches leading into the final four. The Hyderabadi lost in the semis to eventual silver medallist Wang Yihan of China 13-21, 13-21.
In the bronze medal match, injury fored Wang Xin had to retire, that gifted Saina the third place finish.
Denmark Open Super Series Premier 2012
Fresh after her medal-winning campaign the Olympics, Saina clinched her maiden Denmark open title in 2012 by defeating Juliane Schenk of Germany in two straight games.
Nehwal also thrashed Chinese sensation Wang Yihan 21–12, 12–7 in the semis on her way to the title.
Australian Open Super Series 2014 & 2016
Saina Nehwal ended her Australian Open Super Series drought by beating some of the very best in the game in 2014.
Saina and Chinese superstar Shixian Wang crossed path once more in the semis but the Indian shuttler dispatched her 21-19, 16-21, 21-15 in a marathon match that lasted an hour and sixteen minutes.
2016 Rio Olympics gold winner Carolina Marin became Saina’s next scalp — whom the former world number 1 beat 21-18, 21-11 in just 43 minutes.
Saina won the Australian Open title again in 2016 by beating world number 10 Sun Yu 11-21, 21-14, 21-19 in a gruelling contest.
China Open Super Series Premier 2014
Saina beat Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-12, 22-20 in her sixth appearance at the China Open.
Nehwal was at her best in the match as it took her just 42 minutes to end the challenge of her illustrious Japanese opponent.