Indian star Saina Nehwal defeated compatriot PV Sindhu by straight games to win the women’s singles title in the badminton competition at the 21st Commonwealth Games (CWG) here on Sunday.
Saina displayed some superb form to clinch a 21-18, 23-21 victory in the final.
Saina was fired up and played with power and aggression to put Sindhu under pressure right from the start. Sindhu on the other hand, struggled to match her compatriot although she gave a stiff fight in the second game.
Sindhu struggled with her placements during the opening game, her best shot being a well-placed one into the left corner of Saina’s side of the court at 9-12.
Saina had forced the lead right at the start of the first game and continued to increase the advantage at a steady pace.
A superb drop shot gave Saina a 19-15 lead before Sindhu fought back to reduce the gap. But Sindhu’s poor accuracy let her down once again as she fired an attempted return into the net to give Saina the first game.
The second game was a totally different story as Sindhu picked up the tempo. Saina had taken the early lead in the second game as well before she fired one wide to allow Sindhu to draw level at 4-4.
Sindhu took two back to back points take a 6-4 lead before Saina reduced the gap with a deceptive smash that totally outfoxed her rival.
Sindhu, however, continued to pick up the points bolster her advantage despite excellent play by Saina.
Saina continued to fight hard, attempting to chip away at the deficit. Sindhu managed to hold on to the lead for a long time. But the constant pressure by Saina finally paid off when she drew level at 19-19.
A long rally saw Sindhu retake the lead at 20-19 before she hit one long as Saina drew level once again.
Another long rally followed by yet another long hit by Sindhu saw Saina reach game and match point at 21-20.
But Sindhu was not to be so easily defeated. She drew level once again with some excellent net play before Saina toook the lead once again with a well placed smash.
Saina’s patience and fighting spirit finally paid off as an under pressure Sindhu faltered at the net to hit one wide to hand her opponent the gold.