(Video courtesy: BWF)
Indian shuttle queen Saina Nehwal’s deceptive game at the net has always been lauded. The 2012 Olympic bronze medallist gave another testimony of her skills during the Malaysia Masters final on Sunday, that earned plaudits from badminton experts and fans alike.
Saina’s superb rallying and deft touch at the net against the World Junior Championships runner-up Pornpawee Chochuwong at 22-20, 17-16 was deemed the ‘Play of the Day’ by the Badminton World Federation, which was later shared by Nehwal on her own Facebook page.
The aforementioned point saw both players end an engaging rally with three wonderful shots at the net. Nehwal’s tight-spinning shot, that awarded the point to her, was incredible, to say the least. It caught the tape and just trickled over the net on the Thai’s side of the court. The look on the Indian’s face after her shot clearly showed that even she could not believe it!
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It had the commentator showering praises on her as well. “Oh my good god, what a net shot…to be honest, three great net shots! The final one from Nehwal was incredible!” he said. “How did Nehwal manage to control that and spin it back over?” he wondered.
The final was not a hassle-free one for the Indian even though she was the top seed at this tournament. The 19-year-old Chochuwong put up a spirited resistance and even had a game point in the first game before her highly-accomplished rival made a comeback.
The second game too remained pretty competitive and this particular shot in question clearly rattled the young Thai. She lost the next two points after this magnificent shot by Saina, which took the former World No. 1 to match point at 20-16.
The World No. 67, however, did manage to push the setback out of her mind and displayed guts to save four match points. Ultimately, she fell short and the Indian went on to win the match, 22-20, 22-20 for her eighth Grand Prix Gold title.