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CWG 2018: Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu to clinch gold

15 April 2018

World No 3 P V Sindhu set up an all-Indian women's singles final with World No 12 Saina Nehwal in women's badminton competition at the 21st Commonwealth Games yesterday.

Earlier, Manika Batra created history on Saturday and became the first Indian paddler to win a women singles gold at the Commonwealth Games. Nehwal, who had won the gold medal in the 2010 Delhi Games but missed the 2014 Glasgow Games due to injuries, overcame a stiff contest from Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour winning by 21-14, 18-21, 21-17.

Saina, who led the head-to-head count 3-1 before today's match, won 21-18 23-21 in the high-pressure match that lasted an hour. The Commonwealth Games final will be another chapter in the great rivalry between these two global stars.

The brute force of Sindhu's smashes was something that Saina found hard to deal with.

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Sindhu started with a slender 11-10 lead midway into her first game, before extending the score to 19-15.

The strategy worked quite well for the London Olympics bronze-medallist and she raced to a 9-4 lead.

However, Saina then seized control again and the turning point came when she won a really long rally while trailing 17-19 where Sindhu showed sublime defence but eventually had no answers to Saina's sustained attack. She allowed Li to sneak in a few points towards the end but wrest back the lead in 22 minutes.

Moreover, shuttlers PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and men's doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty reached the finals while the women's doubles combine of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy bagged the bronze medal. Sindhu on the other hand, struggled to match her compatriot although she gave a stiff fight in the second game.

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Newly crowned world Number 1 Srikanth lost his men's singles final 21-19, 14-21, 14-21 to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei and had to settle for silver.

The second game continued in similar fashion, with both players staying level till 9-9, before Srikanth erred at the net as Lee led 11-9 at the changeover. In the thrilling match, viewers witnessed how Saina made Sindhu move all around the court, frequently making her lunge forward after pushing her deep.

Saina was dominating from the beginning taking a lead of 11-6 over Sindhu.

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CWG 2018: Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu to clinch gold