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Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu to win Syed Modi International

Sunday, 26 January 2014 - 4:36pm IST | Place: Lucknow | Agency: PTI
The London Olympics bronze medallist staved off the challenge from Sindhu 21-14 21-17 in the women's singles summit clash, which lasted 40 minutes at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.

India ace shuttler Saina Nehwal today snapped her 15 months title drought, clinching the Syed Modi International India Grand Prix Gold badminton crown with a straight-game victory over compatriot P V Sindhu in the women's singles competition, here today.

The London Olympics bronze medallist staved off the challenge from Sindhu 21-14 21-17 in the women's singles summit clash, which lasted 40 minutes at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor Stadium here.

The two-time champion was tested by her younger colleague but Saina kept her nerve to eventually break a 15-month title drought after appearing in her 22nd final of her international career.

"It's an emotional moment for me. Loved the support I got. Lucknow has been my favourite city, I won my first title here in 2009. It feels good to win again. The win was more special as it came after such a long time," she said moments after her victory.

"Sindhu played very well. It was a great match and the crowd enjoyed it. She is great player, and also in top-10. I am happy that I pulled it off.

"I was little nervous as I was playing in a final after a long time. But things went well for me," said Saina, who had last reached a final in the French Super Series in October, 2012.

Luck was on Saina's side as a couple of controversial line calls helped the 23-year-old to lead 3-0 initially and then she extended it to 5-0.

Sindhu earned her first point when Saina hit wide but the Commonwealth Games champion kept the pressure on her with some smashes to lead 8-2.

Sindhu slowly started retrieving the shuttles and engaged in rallies to narrow down the lead to 5-8 but she was erratic at finishing the points and lagged 5-11 at the break.

After the breather, Sindhu scored with the help of her accurate over the head smashes and smart net play to narrow it to 11-14. But she once again faltered with the length of her returns to allow Saina lead 19-13.


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