Sydney: On Sunday, India’s Saina Nehwal defeated Spain’s Carolina Marin 21-18, 21-11 in 43 minutes to win the Australian Open. With the win, she became the first non-Chinese shuttler to win a women’s singles Super Series title in 2014.
Australian Open was the eighth Super Series tournament this year. The previous seven have all been taken by the top Chinese shuttlers.
World No.3 Wang Yihan 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.
Saina’s biggest worry on the day of final was not her Spanish opponent Carolina Marin. She woke up to painful and bleeding blisters. A win away from her first major crown in 20 months, Saina fought pain and returned an emphatic 21-18, 21-11 win in 43 minutes to clinch her first Super Series title in a long time. She had won the Denmark Open in October 2012.
“I am happy that I can win matches in difficult conditions. I have never played with such bad blisters before but was really happy with my fighting spirit,” said an ecstatic Saina.
Saina credited her win to her hard work. “It was my strong self-belief that helped me come out victorious. This was one of the challenging wins because I had to prove that I’m one of the best players in the world,” she said. She admitted that it was always going to be difficult to make a comeback and win titles because it is very tough to win a Super Series.