India’s badminton champ Saina Nehwal won her second Commonwealth Games gold medal as she defeated World No 3 PV Sindhu in Australia. The match ended at 21-18, 23-21, in the finals of the women’s singles. While Saina clenched gold, PV Sindhu bagged a silver, taking India’s total tally of medals to 62 at the Gold Coast Games.
Following this win, the 12th ranked Saina, made a 4-1 head-to-head record against Sindhu. The shuttlers had previously met at the finals of the National Badminton Championships in 2017 where Saina won 21-17, 27-25 to win her third title.
The Saina-Sindhu match was dominated by Saina’s aggressive playing style, as Sindu was unable to find her range. Right from the start, Saina began to put Sindhu under pressure. Saina took advantage of the situation and took charge of the rallies in the early exchanges of the first game. From 9-4, Saina headed to 11-6 and Sindhu was struggling to keep up. While Sindhu made it 14-18 in a brief comeback, Saina regained her ground soon enough. Though Sindhu fought back in the second game, leading it to 18-14, Saina was determined and took things to 21-21. Following a return from Sindhu that went out of line, Saina clenched the match point.
Saina so far has won five Commonwealth medals, including an individual gold medal, a mixed team silver in 2010, a mixed team bronze in 2006 and a team gold in 2018. Before the start of the CWG, Sindhu had suffered an injury scare before heading to Australia and did not participate in any event until the women’s singles event began. Sindhu had previously won a bronze the CWG in Glasgow, England, four years ago.