Badminton Nationals: Saina Nehwal sets up women’s singles final vs PV Sindhu

first_imgSaina Nehwal set up a blockbuster women’s singles final against PV Sindhu at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships in Guwahati on Friday. For the second year running, India’s top two female shuttlers will go head-to-head for the senior national title and it will be a mouthwatering clash.Saina Nehwal, who had demolished Neha Pandit in the quarter-final earlier in the day, took the court against Vaishnavi Bhale in the semi-final and registered an easy 21-15, 21-14 win to advance to the final.SAINA NEHWAL BEATS PV SINDHU TO DEFEND WOMEN’S SINGLES TITLEEarlier, top seed PV Sindhu had staved off a gutsy fightback from Assam’s wonderkid Ashmita Chaliha to enter the final at the Yonex-Sunrise 83rd Senior National Badminton Championships in Guwahari on Friday. The two-time champion had to claw her way back from 16-19 down in the second game and needed two match points to douse the challenge of the spirited fourth seed Chaliha 21-10, 22-20.The 19-year-old girl from Assam had already announced her arrival last year with BWF titles at the Dubai International Challenge and the Tata Open. On Day 4 of the Senior Nationals, she gave yet another display of her immense talent when she steadied her nerves and got back into contention from an 8-13 deficit in the second game. Ashmita Chaliha gave a stiff fight to PV Sindhu in the second game of the semi-final. (BAI Photo)Egged on by the loud crowd, Chaliha drew level at 13-13 and jumped into a 17-14 lead against the Rio Olympics silver medallist before advancing to 19-16. That’s where Sindhu’s vast experience came in handy and she evened the score at 19-19 to have a match point at 20-19.advertisementBut the resilient Ashmita was not done yet and she saved the first match point only to see her World No. 6 opponent wrap it up on her second in 38 minutes.Last year in Nagpur, Saina had outsmarted Sindhu to take the national title. While Saina would want to defend her crown, Sindhu would love to turn the tables.On the other hand, Sourabh Verma also had an easy 21-14, 21-17 win over Kaushal Dharmamer to enter the final of the tournament. Sourabh is already a national champion and will take on the young star Lakshya Sen.In the last singles match of the day, Lakshya Sen outplayed the former national champion Parupalli Kashyap to register a 21-15, 21-15 win and entered the final.Lakshya was the favourite based on his form and he showed exactly why he is rated so highly and is seen as an emerging star. Lakshya began the match with a bang and raced to an 11-3 lead in the first game. Parupalli Kashyap could not keep up with the young Lakshya Sen in the semi-final. (BAI Photo)Even as Kashyap fought back hard in the second part of the first game, closing down the gap to as near as 13-15, Lakshya held his nerves to take the first game with ease.The second game began in a more stiff manner but soon Lakshya started pulling away. With a lead that Kashyap failed to track down, Lakshya won the match with a brilliant defensive block. Lakshya Sen beat Parupalli Kashyap to set up a final against Sourabh Verma. (BAI Photo)Rohan Kapoor and Kuhoo Garg lived up to their reputation as the top seeds in mixed doubles. The World No. 46 pair needed only 32 minutes to dispatch Vighnesh Devlekar and Harika V 21-15, 21-16 to enter the final.They will take on the unseeded combine of Manu Attri and Maneesha K, who continued their rampage with a fine 21-18, 21-17 win over Shlok Ramchandran and Mithula UK.In women’s doubles, top seeds Meghana Jakkampudi and Poorvisha S Ram continued their quest for the title with a strong 21-13, 21-16 victory over Kuhoo Garg and Anoushka Parikh. They will take on the unseeded Shikha Gautam and Ashwini Bhat K in the summit clash after the latter edged Aparna Balan and Sruthi KP 21-19, 24-22.Men’s doubles second seeds Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty beat Arun George and Sanyam Shukla 21-17, 21-18 to secure a place in the final.Also Read | Saina Nehwal refuses to play due to poor court conditions in badminton nationalslast_img

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