The nation has erupted after India’s badminton queen Saina Nehwal clinches Malaysia Masters title. She follows suit after PV Sindhu’s title victory in the last year’s edition. Two successive victories for Indian shuttlers in a tournament! These indeed are golden times for Indian badminton. The Sportsrush takes a look.
Saina had to fight extremely hard in the first game. Her opponent, Thai teenager Pornpawee Chochuwong gave a tough fight throughout the game. However, in the latter stages of the game, she unleashed a barrage of cross court smashes to win it 22-20. Even in the second game, Chochuwong surged ahead with a 3-0 lead.
Saina would then engage her opponent in long rallies, long considered as the main strength for the Indian shuttler. After a see-saw battle, Saina almost saw the light with three match points. However, the Thai won three consecutive points to level the score at 20-20. Saina, though would win the next two points to pocket the game 22-20.
A tough journey since injury for Saina
Saina went through an arduous 2016. A nagging Achilles tendonities affected her performance in the initial phase of the year. However, she fought through to win the Australian Open. Thereafter, she developed a knee injury which derailed her journey in the Rio Olympics.
She needed surgery and miraculously made a comeback in 3 months at the China Open. After reaching the quarterfinal stage of the Macau and Hong Kong Open, she has finally recorded a win in the Malaysia Open. This is her 23rd title overall and the first since her triumph in last year’s Australian Open.
Saina Nehwal was understandably filled with a multitude of emotions after the victory. “In four months from knee surgery to the title it was very tough and emotional journey for me,” she said. Post match, she thanked a few people instrumental in stringing together her fantastic comeback.
“I would also like to thank my coaches Vimal Kumar sir and Umendra Rana sir for supporting me throughout this journey,” the former World No. 1 Saina said. She also added, “I really would like to thank my physios Heath Mathews, Chandan Poddar and Arvind Nigam for the Malaysia Masters title.”