Sports: Saina Nehwal Lifts Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold Title

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  • Indian badminton ace Saina Nehwal notched up her first title after a career-threatening injury by claiming the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Goldwith a hard-fought victory in the summit clash on Sunday.
  • Up against 18-year-old Thai Pornpawee Chochuwong, the top-seeded London Olympics bronze-medallist triumphed 22-20, 22-20 in a 46-minute clash.
  • This was her 23rd title overall and the first after last year’s Australian Open.
  • The Indian badminton ace recovered from a poor start in the first game to stave off the 19-year-old Chochuwong in the final. Saina’s last title win was at the Australian Open in June 2016.
  • The top seeded Saina trailed Chochuwong 0-4 in the first game at one point. The Thai teenager, who was celebrating her 19th birthday on Sunday, then extended her lead to 11-5.
  • However, Saina displayed great resilience to come back and save a game point later in the game, before winning it 22-20.
  • The second game was a close affair as well, with Saina and Chochuwong offering each other little breathing space. However, the experienced Saina dug deep after going 17-16 ahead to carve out four match points.
  • Chochwong fought back again, saving all the match points to tie the game at 20-20. Saina then won the next two points to win the match and her first title of the year. The Indian star needed a total of 46 minutes to win the summit clash.
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