Guwahati, February 16: Defending champion Saina Nehwal displayed sublime form as she registered a comfortable 21-18, 21-15 win against PV Sindhu to retain the national title in Guwahati on Saturday. Saina looked ruthless in the final as she wrapped up the lop-sided encounter against Sindhu in just over 30 minutes.
In the first game, Saina got off to a slow start against Sindhu but then bounced back to make it 5-5. At mid-break, Saina took a slender 11-10 lead.
After the break, the world no. 9 continued with the momentum to take the first game 21-18.
The second game too saw Sindhu struggling to find her rhythm as Saina went into the break with a 11-9 lead.
In the later part of the second game, Saina dominated her opponent with consecutive points, finishing the match 21-18, 21-15 in her favour.
Saina, who won the national title in 2006, 2007 and 2018 clinched her fourth title with a thumping win.
Sourabh claims third title
Earlier, Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men’s singles crown by defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games.
The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outplay 17-year-old Lakshya, a Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.
It was their second meeting at the Senior Nationals final, following Sourabh’s triump over Lakshya, fifteen then, in February 2017.
Earlier, In men’s doubles, second seeded makeshift pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty clinched the title after beating top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13 22-20 in 33 minutes.
Chirag and Pranaav came together after the former’s regular partner Satwik Rankireddy was sidelined ahead of the tournament due to an injury. Satwik and Chirag had finished runners-up at the last edition.
For Pranaav, it is his third national title, having won the men’s doubles crown along with Akshay Dewalkar in 2013 and 2015 and the mixed doubles title with Prajakta Sawant in 2010. (Agencies)