Sports

Saina retains Badminton Nationals crown

Saina retains Badminton Nationals crown
PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal during the prize ceremony after their final match of the 83rd Senior National Women Badminton Championship in Guwahati on Saturday. (PTI)
By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/16/2019 10:46:07 AM IST

Saina Nehwal defeated PV Sindhu for the second year running as she claimed the senior national title in women’s singles once again with a 21-18, 21-15 win in Guwahati on Saturday. Saina had defeated Sindhu in the final in the previous edition of the nationals in November 2017 and the two-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist was at it again.
Saina’s range of strokes was a bit of a trouble for Sindhu even as the Olympic silver-medallist started better. Saina, who is now known to start slowly in her matches, did the same against Sindhu in the final but then stayed neck-and-neck and challenged Sindhu with every stroke.
At the break of the first game, Saina led Sindhu by an 11-10 margin but post the break, Saina began to take Sindhu around well to eke out points. Sindhu’s judgement errors did her no good as Saina took an 18-15 lead.
The overhead lights got switched off at that point and the match saw a minor stoppage after which Sindhu came back to win two straight points to make it 17-18.
However, Saina stuck to her plan and played with a lot of variety and controlled power to take the first game 21-18.
The second game started in a similar manner with Sindhu taking a 2-0 lead but Saina hit right back to stay alongside the tall Indian. At one point, Sindhu led Saina 5-3 but the experienced Indian pulled out her deceptive strokes to make it 5-5.
From thereon, Saina took control of the proceedings and Sindhu’s judgement and unforced errors were not helping her either. Saina went into the break with an 11-9 lead.
After the break, Saina took a 13-9 lead and even though Sindhu tried to stay in touch and fight back, Saina kept her composure and her lines to defend the title.
Saina pace and power was just too much for Sindhu to handle on Saturday. Saina showed better strokeplay and judgement on the court and Sindhu would be left to rue her errent performance.
Earlier, Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men’s singles crown by defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games.
The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outplay 17-year-old Lakshya, a Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.
It was their second meeting at the Senior Nationals final, following Sourabh’s triump over Lakshya, 15 then, in February 2017. 
In men’s doubles, second seeded makeshift pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty clinched the title after beating top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13 22-20 in 33 minutes.
Chirag and Pranaav came together after the former’s regular partner Satwik Rankireddy was sidelined ahead of the tournament due to an injury. Satwik and Chirag had finished runners-up at the last edition.
For Pranaav, it is his third national title, having won the men’s doubles crown along with Akshay Dewalkar in 2013 and 2015 and the mixed doubles title with Prajakta Sawant in 2010.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

Desk:+91-3862-248 489, e-mail: npdesk@gmail.com Fax: +91-3862-248 500
Advt.:+91-3862-2482 267, e-mail:npostadvt@gmail.com
© Nagaland Post 2018. All Rights are Reserved
Designed by : 4C Plus