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Saina defeats world champ, retains crown

Saina defeats world champ, retains crown
The world no.3 defending champion outplayed the Spanish world no.7 to win the one-hour and 19-minute marathon final 19-21, 25-23, 21-16.

The Hyderabadi, who defeated compatriot PV Sindhu to win the title last year, did not start the match on a positive note as Carolina raced away to a 5-2 lead. The Indian came back strongly to win a number of points in the next few minutes to take a vital 15-7 advantage.

Just when it was looking that Olympic bronze medallist Saina will seal the game, Carolina showed her class to close the gap at 17-all. The Spaniard carried the momentum with some deceptive shots which helped her to bag the first game 19-21.

The second game was a neck-and-neck affair from the word go and from 15-all, both the shuttlers raised their games, not allowing the other the difference of more than a point. It was here when the 24-year-old Indian crucially saved two matchpoints. Carolina reverted by saving the next two gamepoints but on the third it was Saina who got the better of the Spaniard by winning her third gamepoint and pushed the match into the decider.

The loss of the second game totally shifted the momentum in favour of Saina, who seized the initiative and dominated the third game to build a 15-7 lead. Though the reigning European Champion tried fighting back, it was too much to ask from the 21-year-old as Saina closed out the encounter on her third matchpoint.

Kashyap triumphs

Third seed Parupalli Kashyap defeated top seed and compatriot Kidambi Srikanth to pocket the men’s singles title on Sunday. Kashyap won the final clash 23-21, 23-21 in a little over 52 minutes.
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