Reclaiming her position in International badminton after a serious injury last year, Saina Nehwal has claimed her first title this year by winning the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold championship. Saina defeated 18-year-old Thai Pornpawee Chochuwong in a tough, fast-paced match, scoring 22-20 and 22-20.
Incidentally, it was Pornpawee’s birthday on January 20, and everyone was expecting her to win the match. However, Saina seems to have spoiled her birthday party by clinching her win in the championship. The top-seeded Saina had earlier won the Bronze medal at London 2012 Summer Olympics. With this recent win, Saina now has 23 titles to her credit. Last year, she had won the Australian Open.
In both the games, Chochuwong had established an early lead. During the first game, Chochuwong was leading 11-5, but Saina fought back and after leveling 19-19, she went on to win the game. In the second game also, Chochuwong was leading 3-0, but Saina made a quick recovery in this game, scoring 7-5. Chochuwong fought back leveling 8-8 and 11-11, but Saina did not allow her to maintain her momentum, and went on to win the game and match.
Saina appeared quite delighted after clinching her first win this year. Saina is world No 10, whereas Chochuwong is ranked at 67th.