The Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal beat young sensation PV Sindhu in straight games in the marquee clash of the tournament to retain her women's singles crown at the 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals here on Saturday. The three-time former champion Saina used her powerful smashes to telling effect, registering a 21-18 21-15 win against Sindhu, a two-time winner, in the summit clash. The clock ticked back to last year when Olympics silver medallist dominated against Sindhu, almost similar set of a result was witnessed here at the TRP Indoor stadium.
Saina had also defeated 2016 Rio Games silver medallist Sindhu at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games summit clash last year. Earlier, Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the Senior Badminton Nationals, claiming the men's singles crown by defeating young Lakshya Sen in straight games.
The 26-year-old from Madhya Pradesh, who had won the title in 2011 and 2017, showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outplay 17-year-old Lakshya, an Asian junior champion, 21-18 21-13 in a lop-sided contest.
It was their second meeting at the Senior Nationals final, following Sourabh's triumph over Lakshya, 15 then, in February 2017.
In men's doubles, second-seeded makeshift pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty clinched the title after beating top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramachandran 21-13 22-20 in 33 minutes. Chirag and Pranaav came together after the former's regular partner Satwik Rankireddy were sidelined ahead of the tournament due to an injury. Satwik and Chirag had finished runners-up at the last edition.
For Pranaav, it is his third national title, having won the men's doubles crown along with Akshay Dewalkar in 2013 and 2015 and the mixed doubles title with Prajakta Sawant in 2010.
Saina and Sindhu will now be seen at the Yonex All England Open Championship which is scheduled to start on March 6. It will be interesting to see if the former is able to continue her form and dominate against her counterparts.