• Saina Nehwal clinches her second Australian Open Super Series title

    Olympic bound ace shuttler Saina Nehwal triumphed over Chinese Sun Yu in a tough match to clinch her second Australian Open Super Series win. The 72 minute match at the Sydney Sports Centre went down to the wire on Sunday, but Saina held her nerve, the final score reading 11-21, 21-14, 21-19 in the 72-minuter.

    Also read: Dipa Karmakar becomes the first Indian woman gymnast to qualify for Olympics

    Some highlights from the match and after match math:

    • With this win, Saina became the first shuttler to win the Australian Open for a second time.
    • This was Saina’s first final after she lost to Li Xuerui in China last November.
    • Clinching the title increases her chances of a second consecutive podium finish at the Rio Olympics 2016.
    • Saina had a 5-1 record as regards Sun Yu prior to the final, with their last encounter taking place in China last year. On Sunday she took her lead one step further.

    2016 has been a mixed bag for Saina. Here are a few highlights:

    Saina Nehwal stormed into the Indonesia Open quarters, becoming the lone Indian survivor at the event by defeating world no 53 Fitriani Fitriani. Even though she couldn’t capitalise on that and go further in the tournament, it was still no mean feat.
    She was named as one of the seven players that have made the cut for the Rio Olympics, 2016.
    Saina Nehwal received the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in India at the beginning of the year. She dominated the Badminton World Federation Women Singles’ list last year at number one.

    Also read: A third time to the Olympics: Discus thrower Seema Punia books her Rio berth

    Saina had suffered an injury after her runner-up finish at the World Championship in August last year. This emphatic win which tested her stamina as well as her resolve might just be the perfect confidence booster she needed before the start of the Olympic campaign. We sure will be rooting for the 2012 Olympics bronze medallist to repeat her feat and better it this time!

    Feature Image Credit: Sportskeeda.com

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