It was the game of the night. The long-awaited clash between Olympic medalist PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. In the battle for supremacy in the women's singles final of the Senior Badminton National Championship, after scoring contrasting victories on Tuesday, Saina Nehwal triumphed over Sindhu to clinch the title. Saina won 21-17 and 26-24.
Saina, who is currently ranked World No. 11, had hardly broke a sweat as she defeated fifth seed Anura Prabhudesai 21-11 21-10 while World No 2 and top seed Sindhu was surprisingly stretched by Ruthvika Shivani before prevailing 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the semifinals.
Saina had not competed at the Senior Nationals since winning back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007, while Sindhu too gave the domestic tournament a miss after winning the 2011 and 2013 editions. Their first meeting was at the 2014 Syed Modi International before they played each other in India Super Series this year. While Saina prevailed in 2014, Sindhu had the last laugh in Delhi. A lot has happened between those two battles with Saina becoming the World No 1 in 2015, while Sindhu rising to the pinnacle of world badminton after clinching the silver at Rio Olympics.
But all this was history when it came to the finals today. It was the image of valiant Saina who never gave up. It was the Saina people remembered from the 2012 Olympics. In the first set, Saina schooled Sindhu winning the game easily. However, the second set was a head to head contest between the two and Sindhu found her way back in the game. But in the end, it was Saina Nehwal who walked home the victor.