Monday, October 22, 2012

Saina Nehwal wins Denmark Open - 2012 badminton title

Saina had been away from competitive badminton since the last couple of months after her bronze medal winning performance at the London Olympics in Aug-2012. Given the fanfare that followed, the rewards and recognition ceremonies, the new sponsorship deals, and the two-month break, Indian badminton fans must have been wondering how she would perform at the Denmark Open super series where the world's top players had taken part. Would she still have the drive left in her to win the big matches? Will she be fitter than her opponents? However Saina has effectively put all such doubts to rest by doing what she does best. By winning!

Come this Sunday, and Saina Nehwal made her champion presence felt once again as she won the Denmark Open - 2012 super series badminton championship title by defeating Juliane Schenk of Germany in the finals by a score of 21-17, 21-8. It was Juliane who had earlier defeated reigning Olympic Gold medallist Xuerei Li of China in the quarter-finals.

Earlier in the semi-finals, Saina achieved an all-important victory over her arch-rival and nemesis from China, the world no.1 Yihan Wang. This was the seventh time they were facing each other and Saina had lost all the previous 6 matches against her. However this time round, Saina was able to reverse her fortunes and defeated Wang by a score of 21-12, 21-7 (retired). Wang seemed to have injured her right knee during the second game of the match.

With the win in the finals, Saina has become only the second Indian badminton player to have ever won the Denmark Open badminton title. She has now emulated the feat of Prakash Padukone, former Indian badminton star, who more than 30 years ago, in 1980, had won this prestigious title.

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