Saina scrapes past Xuerui to win third Indonesia Open crown (Lead)June 17th, 2012 - 5:54 pm ICT by IANS
Jakarta, June 17 (IANS) India’s Saina Nehwal got a big shot in the arm ahead of the London Olympics as she saved two match points before beating Li Xuerui of China to win her third Indonesia Open title in four years here Sunday.
The World No. 5 upstaged the reigning All England and Asian Champion 13-21, 22-20, 21-19 after a tantalisingly close match for her maiden Super Series Premier crown and second in as many weeks following the victory at the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold event in Bangkok last Sunday. For the Chinese, it was her first loss in five straight finals and first to Saina in two years, making the head-to-head record 4-2 in her favour.
With the win, the Hyderabadi continued her love affair with Indonesia where she won back-to-back titles in 2009 and 2010 besides reaching the final in 2011.
“I just love coming here. I get great crowd support and I feel like a champion everytime I step on the court,” said Sania of the tournament which was awarded Super Series Premier status from Super Series tag last year and is at par with the prestigious All England Championships.
The final lasting 1 hour 5 minutes provided a great spectacle to the badminton fans with both players indulging in long rallies ending with power-packed smashes.
Saina was at the receiving end before pulling off a memorable win.
She looked out of sorts in the first game and posed little resistance against her opponent’s down the line smashes and crafty net play. Li was one game up 15 minutes into the contest.
The Indian, realising the need of a change in strategy, attacked more in the second and gained a 13-8 cushion. That was when Xuerui’s fighting capabilities came to the fore as cut Saina’s lead to 13-12 and then went on to take six straight points from 14-18 to secure two match points. Saina, however, managed to regain her composure to level the match.
The decider had everyone on the edge of their seats with Saina trailing 10-11 at the mid-game break. Saina, however, did manage to maintain a slender lead from there on. Unforced errors started to creep in from Li’s racquet and Saina earned crucial points by attacking more on the body and was ahead 19-16. The 22-year-old did not squander the advantage this time around and shut the door on her opponent with a forehand winner.
A couple of net cords going either way added more excitement towards the finish.
- Saina wins third Indonesia Open title (Roundup) - Jun 17, 2012
- Saina enters fourth final at Indonesia Open, Kashyap loses (Roundup) - Jun 16, 2012
- Saina in Indonesia Open final, Kashyap loses (Second Lead) - Jun 16, 2012
- Olympic badminton: Li Xuerui beats No.1 Wang for gold - Aug 04, 2012
- Saina pleased with her play in crunch situations - Jun 17, 2012
- Chinese will be tough to beat at Olympics: Saina Nehwal (Lead) - Jun 19, 2012
- India Open Super Series: Saina makes a tearful first round exit (Roundup) - Apr 27, 2011
- Saina crashes out of All-England Championship - Mar 09, 2012
- Olympic badminton: World No.1 Wang Yihan too good for Saina (Lead) - Aug 03, 2012
- Olympics will be tough, says Saina Nehwal - Jun 19, 2012
- Saina triumphs at Singapore to win second Super Series title (Lead) - Jun 20, 2010
- I can hope and try, not predict: Saina Nehwal (Interview) - Jul 16, 2012
- Sindhu knocks out London gold winner out of China Masters (Lead) - Sep 14, 2012
- Olympics: Wang retires to hand Saina badminton bronze (Lead) - Aug 04, 2012
- Chinese badminton head coach blames referee for player's injury - Aug 05, 2012
Tags: asian champion, badminton fans, close match, composure, crowd support, decider, england championships, first game, hyderabadi, last sunday, london olympics, love affair, match points, net play, open crown, realising, saina nehwal, scrapes, shot in the arm, straight points