Saina Nehwal defends Indonesian Open title
Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal achieved an incredible feat when she defeated Japan`s Sayaka Sato to win the Indonesian Open Super series title.
Jakarta: Indian ace shuttler Saina Nehwal achieved an incredible feat on Sunday when she defeated Japan`s Sayaka Sato 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 to win the Indonesian Open Super series title.
Unbeaten for the past three weeks, the top seeded defending champion defeated her unseeded but resolute rival 21-19, 13-21, 21-11 in a rollercoaster encounter that lasted 45 minutes.
This was Saina`s third successive title, having won the Indian Open Grand Prix at home and the Singapore Open Super Series Tournament last week. This is also the 20-year-old`s third Super Series title overall.
In a see-saw battle, the 19-year-old Sato matched the defending champion shot for shot for most part of the opening game but was undone by her own mistakes at crucial junctures.
The first game that lasted 14 minutes had both the players tied 11-11 at one stage and though Saina remained ahead for most part after that, a gritty Sato did have her share of chances.
Leading 20-18, Saina could have finished it off on her own serve but she handed Sato a chance by hitting the shuttle wide.
But Sato could not capitalise and smacked a forehand into the net to give Saina the opening game.
The second game saw Sato making a comeback with the change of ends also leading to a change in fortunes. The Japanese proved to be the more dominant of the two players in these 15 minutes as she raced to a 4-9 lead.
Sato sent down some powerful shots from the baseline and Saina could only watch as they fell out of her range. The frustration of being out-witted by a rival ranked 26th in the world showed when Saina clinched her fist at one of Sato`s unforced errors.
Shaken by the setback, Saina roared back in the decisive third game. The Indian took a comprehensive 11-5 lead but continuing her never-say-die attitude, Sato reduced the margin to 9-13.
The Indian, however, was in no mood to slip up and emerged triumphant after reeling off four successive points.
A jubilant Saina let out a huge scream after winning the title, which also made her richer by USD 18,750.