Saina Nehwal after winning Indonesia Masters: Can feel Marin's pain

Updated: Jan 28, 2019, 09:12 IST | PTI

Nehwal recalls her painful Rio Olympics exit after Spaniard retires hurt to hand Indonesia Masters title to India's star shuttler

Saina Nehwal after winning Indonesia Masters: Can feel Marin's pain
Saina Nehwal with the Indonesia Masters gold medal after her opponent, Spain's Carolina Marin retired hurt in the final yesterday. Pic/AP,PTI

Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal claimed her first BWF title in two years after three-time world champion Carolina Marin of Spain limped out of the Indonesia Masters final due to a leg injury here yesterday.

The London Olympics bronze medallist, who last won a BWF title in 2017 in Malaysia, was trailing 4-10 in the opening game when Marin decided to withdraw from the contest.

'It's an important year'
"It is important year for us. It was not good to see at all. It is painful. I have been getting injured a lot in the last few years and to see something like this is really painful," said Saina, who had suffered a career-threatening knee injury at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Saina Nehwal with the injured Carolina Marin after their match
Saina Nehwal with the injured Carolina Marin after their match

"I know how it is because when I got that knee injury at the Olympics, I was upset. I was crying. I know how difficult it is for a player to go through such injuries but the sport is like that. It is cruel." It is a creditable performance for the Indian, who had suffered a shin injury late last year.

"I took a break in December. I played this event to see how good I am and I was surprised with myself. January 1 was my first match [PBL] against Sindhu after the injury. I didn't do any kind of training. Doctors asked me not to do any training," Saina said.

"But I am not happy with the way I got it today. I am happy that I could reach the final, beating difficult opponents like He Bingjiao. Both the tournaments, I am happy with my performance. It's great to beat [Nozomi] Okuhara, Binjiao, Dinar [Dyah Ayustine]. In the final, Carolina had the upper hand. I wanted to fight and see how it goes but it was unfortunate what happened," added Saina, 28.

Olympic champion Marin was favourite to win the title. Coming into this match, she led 6-5 in her head-to-head record against Saina, an opponent she beat last week at the Malaysia Masters semifinal in Kuala Lumpur.

Marin's fast start
The fast-moving Spaniard made a rampaging start to take the first two points before Saina started to engage her in rallies and caught the Spaniard at the net to log her first point.

But the Indian missed the backline a couple of times and also found the net to allow Marin lead 6-2 at the Istora Senayan. The Spaniard looked in good form, unleashing her aggressive brand of badminton but an unfortunate injury brought a premature end of the match when Marin, leading 9-2, landed badly on her right leg and fall on the court in agony holding her knee. After a medical time out, Marin tried to continue but eventually collapsed to the ground crying.

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