Saina beats Sindhu to retain Nationals crown, Sourabh claims third title
Guwahati: Saina Nehwal beat P V Sindhu in straight games in the marquee clash of the tournament to retain her women’s singles crown at the 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals here Saturday.
The three-time former champion Saina used her powerful smashes to telling effect, registering a 21-18 21-15 win against Sindhu, a two-time winner, in the summit clash.
In a repeat of last edition’s final in Nagpur, 2012 Olympics bronze medaliist Saina once again had the upper hand over Sindhu during the exciting clash which was witnessed by a capacity crowed at the TRP Indoor stadium here.
Saina had also defeated 2016 Rio Games silver medallist Sindhu at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games summit clash last year.
Earlier, Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men’s singles crown by defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games.
The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outplay 17-year-old Lakshya, a Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.
It was their second meeting at the Senior Nationals final, following Sourabh’s triump over Lakshya, 15 then, in February 2017.
In men’s doubles, second seeded makeshift pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty clinched the title after beating top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13 22-20 in 33 minutes.
Chirag and Pranaav came together after the former’s regular partner Satwik Rankireddy was sidelined ahead of the tournament due to an injury. Satwik and Chirag had finished runners-up at the last edition.
For Pranaav, it is his third national title, having won the men’s doubles crown along with Akshay Dewalkar in 2013 and 2015 and the mixed doubles title with Prajakta Sawant in 2010.