Ends her title drought by beating another Chinese opponent to bag her second Australian open title
When Saina Nehwal entered Sydney Sports Centre on Sunday, she knew it was a long time since she had won a title. Saina’s last tournament win came in India Super Series at Delhi in 2015. Even the last time she played in a final was way back in November 2015, where she lost to Li Xuerui in China.
But going to the Australian Open final, Saina Nehwal looked in ominous touch, having overcome her nagging injuries that have proved to be her undoing in earlier tournaments this year.
In the quarterfinals she got the better of world number two and winner of four titles this year, Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon. In the last four, Saina demolished her nemesis China’s Wang Yihan in straight games 21-8, 21-12. She beat Yihan in all department of the game – court movement, deception and power. Over the years these have been the hallmarks of the Chinese game.
Unlike in earlier round matches though, Saina started off slowly in the final against her Chinese opponent Sun Yu – losing the first game 11-21. But she cut down her errors, tightened her net game and hit some powerful smashes to win the next two games 21-14, 21-19.
This was Saina’s maiden title of the season, her second title win in Australian and 10th Super Series title overall. The win will be a big a boost for her second consecutive medal prospect at the Rio Games.