* Nehwal celebrates her World No 1 status by clinching women’s singles title
* Srikanth takes the men’s singles title
INDIA’s top woman shuttler Saina Nehwal celebrated her status as the new World No 1 by clinching her maiden India Open title with a crushing 21-16, 21-14 win over Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon 21-16, 21-14 win in 49 minutes in the final of the USD275,000 Yonex India Open Superseries at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday.
It was a double joy not only for Nehwal but also India as World No 4 K. Srikanth later walked away with the men’s singles title with a come-from-behind over sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark for his second successive title in two weeks. The top seeded Indianwho beat the Dane in the Swiss Open final in Base, won 18-21, 21-13, 21-12 in a 55-minute thriller.
For Nehwal it has been a glorious rise in her badminton career. Earlier this month the badminton darling of India became the first Indian womasn to reach the final of the prestigious All-England Championships where she lost to world champion Carolina Marin of Spain in three sets.
In the India Open final Nehwal was in top form over Ratchanok and clinched the first set 21-16 in 24 minutes. She got her job done in 49 minutes by winning the second set 21-14 – a perfect boost for the USD500,000 Maybank Malaysia Open Superseries Premier which begins at the Putra Stadium in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday.
The lndian lass from Hyderabad clinched the World No 1 even before her final when reigning world and All-England champion Carolina Marin of Spain was beaten in the semi-finals by Intanon. The Spaniard was Nehwal’s closest rival for the world No 1 ranking.
RESULTS (All Finals)
K. Srikanth (Ind) beat Viktor Axelsen (Den) 18-21, 21-13, 21-12
Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) beat Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding (Den) 21-18, 21-14
Saina Nehwal (Ind) beat Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) 21-16, 21-14
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) beat Luo Ying-Luo Yu (Chn) 21-19, 21-19
Luo Cheng-Bao Yixin (Chn) beat Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-19, 21-19