Saina Nehwal beat PV Sindhu to retain her senior national title in Guwahati. Saina beat Sindhu 21-18, 21-15 in straight sets on Saturday. The defending chapion looked the better player after she settled in her elements during the first set. World number two, Sindhu looked a little rusty in her moves and that did not help her cause. Earlier, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal won their respective semifinals in contrasting fashion to set up a mouth-watering women’s singles summit showdown at the 83rd Yonex-Sunrise Senior National Championship here Saturday.
In a repeat of last edition’s title clash at Nagpur, the two stalwarts again displayed a good contest to test each other and write another chapter in their on-field rivalry. While Sindhu overcame a challenge from Assam’s promising 19-year-old Ashmita Chaliha 21-10 22-20 in the first semifinal, Saina got the better of Nagpur qualifier Vaishnavi Bhale, who was part of India’s Uber Cup squad last year, 21-15 21-14 to storm into the finals.
Since the last nationals in Nagpur, Saina and Sindhu had faced each other twice on international stage with the former winning both. Sindhu, however, won their clash in the PBL earlier this year.
A few weeks ago, Saina Nehwal also won the Indonesia masters after Carolina Marin pulled out the finals with a thigh injury. Nehwal has had a great start to the new calendar year and credits her husband and former Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap – she took to her social media handle to reveal how her marriage has given her an upliftment and new-found confidence.
After the match, Nehwal thanked her supporters and also praised Sindhu for having a good run of games, heading into the summit clash.
“Sindhu has had a great run. Today was just an off-day for her but it was still a tough match,” she said speaking to the media at the post-match press conference.