Saina upsets Wang to win her maiden Super Series title (Lead)

June 21st, 2009 - 6:38 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) Saina Nehwal knocked out World No. 3 Chinese Lin Wang 12-21, 21-18, 21-9 at the Indonesian Open to win her maiden Super Series badminton title, the first by an Indian, in Djakarta Sunday.
World No. 8 Saina has been in hot form throughout the tournament and fought back in the final after losing the first game to upset the third seed Chinese in 48 minutes.

Saina, seeded sixth, had beaten Chinese Lan Lu in the semi-final and Korean Hye Youn Hwang in the quarterfinal in two tough encounters before the triumph in the final.

This is one of the best performance by any Indian shuttler. Prakash Padukone and Saina’s coach Pullela Gopichand have both won the prestigious All England Championship, but Saina has been able to achieve such huge success in the international level at just 19 years of age.

“I was speechless and in tears after the final,” Saina said.

“It is my best performance so far. I work hard before any tournament and I am happy that my effort has borne fruits here,” she said.

Wang had defeated Saina in the Singapore Open last week, but the Indian was determined to avenge that loss.

Saina was also surprised at the overwhelming crowd support that she got as the Indonesian crowd backed an Indian against the rival Chinese shuttler.

“It helped a lot that there was a lot of support from the crowd,” she said.

Egged by the cheering crowd, Saina rallied after losing the first game.

They were engaged in a neck-and-neck battle in the second game and were tied 17-17, before Saina pocketed crucial points to draw level.

Having grown in confidence, Saina was at her attacking best in the third game. She mixed her smashes with deceptive net-play, keeping her opponent totally on the backfoot. Wang had no answers to Saina’s gameplan.

“The victory will boost my confidence. I am aiming to crack among the top five by the year end. I am looking forward to the World Championships in Hyderabad now,” she said.

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