Saina Nehwal, the golden girl of Indian badminton has started her 2017 tour with playing the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold in Sarawak, Malaysia.
The world number 10 was the highest seed and was pitted against Thai qualifier, C Korepap in the opener. She breezed through losing just seventeen points in total to set a match with Indonesian Hanna Ramadini for a place in the quarterfinals. After a competitive first set, the Indonesian seemed to have lost her steam as the Indian went on to win the second set 21-12 and also the match. In the quarters, the number eight seed Fitriani from Indonesia posed little threat to the top seed as the latter booked a place in the last four with a 21-15, 21-14 victory.In the semifinals, the
In the semifinals, the 23-year-old player from Hong Kong, Chueng Ngan Yi tried her best but all in vain as she lost in straight sets to the former world number one. In the championship match, Saina Nehwal faced the giant killer Pornpawee Chochuwong on the other side of the net. The Thai player defeated the seventh seed (second round) and the second seed (semifinals) to reach her maiden Grand Prix Gold final. The 2012 London Olympics bronze medalist, had to fight her way to the top of the podium as the young opponent made her struggle before finally losing 22-20, 22-20.
With this victory, it can be said that Saina has fully recovered from her knee surgery and is ready to take on the best in the world.
Except for Saina’s victory, it was a disappointing tournament for the other Indians as Ajay Jayaram was the only player or team to have reached the quarterfinals. Most of the doubles teams weren’t able to cross the first hurdle as they lost in the opening round itself.
With Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold commencing on the 24th of January in Lucknow, we from Sportwalk wish all the Indian players good luck and hope they’ll perform better in home conditions.