Indian top shuttler Saina Nehwal drubbed Spain’s Carolina Marin to clinch the women’s singles title of the Australian Badminton Open, her first Super Series title in over a year-and-a-half and her second crown of the year.
The Olympic bronze medallist, seeded sixth in the competition, came out with a splendid showing against the Spaniard to win the $750,000 championship.
Saina needed only 43 minutes to win the summit clash 21-18, 21-11 at the States Sports Centre and take home a prize cheque of $56,250.
With the win, Saina extended her record to 2-0 against Carolina, whom she had beaten last year in Indonesia in their only previous meeting.
This is the World No.8’s second title of the year after she won the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow in January. She last won a Super Series title in Denmark in October 2012.
The Hyderabad resident was clearly the dominant player on court. Her agility and speed were too hot to handle for the Spanish southpaw, playing her first Super Series final.
Saina was in sublime form right from the start and was up 11-7 at the break in the first game.
Carolina was left stranded on court as Saina’s down-the-line smashes had no answers from the Spanish World No.11.
The reigning European Champion, who plays for Banga Beats in the Indian Badminton League, tried fighting back. The game went to Saina in only 23 minutes.
The Indian raced away to an early 9-3 lead after bagging eight consecutive points in the second game.
Temperatures zoomed as there were some heated exchanges between the two with lots of ‘Come On!’ shouts coming from both sides of the court.
But Saina showed that she was the better shuttler as she extended her lead to 11-4 at the break.
By this time Carolina’s shots were in disarray and going wayward. She appeared to lose confidence as she wasn’t going for the smashes.
Saina took advantage of the momentum to open up the gap and sealed the tie in her favour on her first match point.
Saina became the first non-Chinese shuttler to win a women’s singles Super Series title in 2014 after clinching the Australian Badminton Open at the State Sports Centre here Sunday.
The Olympic bronze medallist defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin 21-18, 21-11 in 43 minutes to win her first Super Series crown in 20 months, after coming out on top in the Denmark Open in October 2012.
The $750,000 tournament in Australia was the eighth Super Series tournament this year. The previous seven have all been taken by the top Chinese shuttlers.
World No.3 Yihan Wang won in South Korea and Singapore, World No.2 Shixian Wang came out victorious at All England and India while World No.1 and reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui won in Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia.
This was the Hyderabadi’s second title of the season after winning the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow in January.
The next Super Series on the circuit is the $500,000 Denmark Open to be held in Odense Oct 14-19.