The Saina and Srikanth show

Indian shuttlers clinch men’s and women’s singles titles at India Open Super Series tournament

New Delhi: Local favourites Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth yesterday clinched their maiden women and men’s singles titles respectively at the India Open Super Series badminton tournament.

Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal with their gold medals after winning the men’s and women's singles title respectively in the India Open in New Delhi yesterday. Pics/PTI 

Saina, the first Indian woman shuttler to achieve World No 1 ranking, clinched her maiden title here after notching up a dominating straight game victory against former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand while Srikanth had to toil hard to register a thrilling three-game win over sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the men’s singles competition at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

One-sided affair
Saina, a bronze medalist at the London Olympics, played like a champion to get the better of Intanon 21-16, 21-14 in a relatively one-sided affair.

Coming into the match with a 5-3 overall advantage over her rival, Saina was not tested much as the Indian was prepared for Intanon’s deceptive game.

Saina encountered her rival with better movement and powerful and accurate smashes to eventually wrest her second title of the season.

The girl from Hyderabad, who has been on a roll ever since her victory at the China Open, played like a champion as she anticipated her opponent’s moves and caught her on the wrong foot during rallies.

Intanon, seeded third, seemed to be affected by her marathon semi-final match against Carolina Marin which lasted for close to an hour and and half on Friday.

Meanwhile, World No 4 Srikanth notched up his second title of the season by getting the better of sixth seed Axelsen 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in a gruelling contest later in the day.

The men’s singles summit clash was a rematch of the Swiss Open final where Srikanth had defeated World No 6 Axelsen to clinch his first title of the season.

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