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Sydney: Ace Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal lifted her first Super Series title in two years, clinching the USD 750,000 Star Australian Open after outplaying Spain's Carolina Marin in the summit clash here on Sunday.

The sixth seeded Indian, who had won the India Open Grand Prix Gold earlier this year, prevailed 21-18 21-11 in a 43-minute contest which left her richer by USD 56,000.

"I am very happy with the win. My hard has work paid off.

My coaches have worked really hard to keep me injury-free.

This victory could not have come at a better time for me," an elated Saina, whose last Super Series triumph came in the Indonesia Open in June 2012, told PTI.

"This is an extremely important year for me as I would be defending the Commonwealth Games gold medal and the Asian Games are also there. So, it will boost my confidence," added the 24-year-old.

Saina, who enjoyed a 1-0 head-to-head record against Marin going into today's match, logged the first point and displayed some deft netplay against her rival, stroking in some delectably timed volleys to take a 5-2 lead in the opening game.

But the 21-year-old Marin was not the one to give up easily and showed just why she is considered one of the most feisty players on the circuit. She narrowed the gap to 6-8 but seemed distinctly out of her comfort zone every time Saina dragged her towards the net.

Also, Marin didn't help her cause by committing a service error to gift an easy point to Saina, who went into the interval leading 11-7 after an intriguing rally which ended with the Spaniard smashing the shuttle wide.

Marin raised her game and the decibel levels after the break but Saina was quick to counter-attack and returned her rival's attempted smashes with quiet intensity.

In between, Marin played some fine strokes but they never came consistently enough as world number eight Saina made it 17-12. Marin's dogged determination was there to be seen in every point she played for but that alone was never going to be enough to upstage a composed Saina.

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