New Delhi: Sunday was a huge day for Indian badminton where their home shuttlers Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth won their respective India Open Super Series titles in front of a capacity home crowd in New Delhi.
Saina Nehwal who became the first Indian women shuttler to ever achieve world number one ranking, got the better off former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand by winning 21-16 21-14 in 49 minutes.
Nehwal played a highly aggressive game on Sunday. In the first set, Saina Nehwal’s quick movement often and caught Ratchanok Intanon on the wrong foot during rallies, allowing the Indian to race away to a 12-5 lead and to seal the first set in her favor.
Ratchanok Intanon, seeded third, seemed to be affected by her energy-sapping clash in the semifinal against Carolina Marin of Spain which lasted for close to an hour and half yesterday. Her movement was slow and was struggling to return Nehwal’s shots in the second set. Intanon tried to close gap at 14-18 but Nehwal took full advantage of Intanon’s obvious physical fatigue. As Intanon’s unforced errors kept on climbing, Nehwal launched numerous quick smashes and deceptive strokes to eventually clinch the title.
The men’s singles final was a rematch of the 2015 Swiss Open final as Indian shuttler Kidambi Srikanth took on Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. Srikanth was made to work hard as he overcame a determined Axelsen 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in a tight final in New Delhi.
Axelsen took the first game with style and looked on course for winning the second set. However, Srikanth fought back and took the second set much to the delight of his supporters inside the stadium. In the decider, Srikanth proved that he was in far superior form, combined smashes with killer net shots, defeated Axelsen and lifted the Indian Open title in 55 minutes.
Both Nehwal and Srikanth took home $20,625 each for the title won.
The Japanese pair of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi defeated their Chinese opponents Luo Ying and Luo Yu 21-19 and 21-19 to win the women’s doubles final in an 81-minute encounter.
Meanwhile, Chai Biao and Hong Wei of China outlasted Denmark’s Conrad Petersen and Mads Pieler Kolding 21-18 and 21-14 to take the men’s doubles title in 45 minutes and China’s Liu Cheng and Bao Yixin dispatched Denmark’s Christinna Pedersen and Joachim Fischer Nielsen 21-19, 21-19 in the mixed doubles final in 52 minutes.