Saina Nehwal, Breaking the Chinese Wall Down Under

Saina Nehwal clinched her second title of the season after winning the India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow in January. In Sydney on Sunday, Saina overcome painful blisters to win the Australian Super Series after stunning the Chinese top seed in semis.

updated: June 30, 2014 15:51 IST
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Saina Nehwal Indonesian Open
Saina Nehwal in action during the Indonesian Open badminton championships in 2013.

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After she won the 2012 London Olympics bronze medal, Saina Nehwal's coach Pulella Gopichand said the Chinese domination on world badminton was slowly loosening and Saina Nehwal was fast emerging the single biggest threat. In Sydney on Sunday, Saina became the first non-Chinese to win a women's singles Super Series title in 2014 when she won the Australian Open in consummate fashion.

Saina's biggest worry on Sunday was not her Spanish opponent Carolina Marin. She woke up to painful and bleeding blisters. A win away from her first major crown in 20 months, Saina fought pain and returned an emphatic 21-18, 21-11 win in 43 minutes to clinch her first Super Series title in a long time. She had won the Denmark Open in October 2012.

The $750,000 tournament in Australia was the eighth Super Series tournament this year. The previous seven have all been taken by the top Chinese shuttlers. World No.3 Yihan Wang won in South Korea and Singapore, World No.2 Shixian Wang came out victorious at All-England and India while World No.1 and reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui won in Malaysia, Japan and Indonesia.

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