DUBAI: Saina Nehwal turned the table over the current reigning world champion Carolina Marin at the BWF Superseries Finals, here in Dubai on Thursday, even as Kidambi Srikanth faced exit after suffering his second straight loss in the men’s singles here on Thursday.
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Saina defeated Crolina to notch up a memorable 23-21, 9-21, 21-12 win over the World No. 1 in a women’s singles match that lasted an hour and 15 minutes.
In the opening game, Saina led 9-4 but she misjudged a couple of shots and Marin too stepped up the pressure by dominating the net to grab the lead with six straight points. However, Saina ensured she had the advantage at the break.
Marin tried to keep the shuttle at the forecourt by drawing Saina close to the net and marched ahead to 15-12. Saina fought back and closed the gap and even went ahead at 16-15 when the Spaniard hit the net. Saina reached 19-16 with Marin continuing to make some unforced errors,.
Marin then drew level at 19-19 before Saina earned the game point with Marin hitting the bird in the net. But a couple of wayward shots and it was 21-20 in favour of Marin. However, another forehand return hitting the net and a wide shot by Marin again gave the game point to Saina who made it count for her this time.
The second game started on an aggressive note with the duo battling like warriors. Saina kept her poise and even smiled at her mistakes while pumping her fist after winning crucial points. Marin then entered the interval with a five point advantage.
Saina tried to slow down the pace of the rallies after the break but Marin continued to dominate by playing her acute angled strokes. The Indian also faltered with a few unforced errors to allow Marin to gallop away with the second game.
The decider started on an aggressive note again as once again when Saina moved to a 10-5 lead at one stage before Marin reduced it down to 8-11.
Durin Interval, Saina was 11-8 lead at the interval.
Marin continued to her unforced, which Sain capitalized and extended her lead to 16-8. A couple of angled smashes took Saina to 19-9. Marin scored three valuable points here, then but Saina moved into the match point when Marin hit wide and closed the match.
Saina will play against the defending champion Tai Tzu Ying in her final league match on Friday.