Basel: India’s Saina Nehwal won her first title of the year with a convincing 21-13, 21-14 victory over South Korean Sung Ji Hyun in the Wilson Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold badminton on Sunday.
It is Saina’s ninth career title on the international circuit. She has won four Super Series titles, three coming last year, three Grand Prix Gold titles and two Grand Prix tournaments.
World No.4 Saina took early control of the match. She took seven points in a row from 6-7 to lead 13-7. The Indian then consolidated on the lead and won the first game.
In the second game, Saina opened up a 7-3 lead and never allowed the Korean to come back, taking a grip over the match and wrapping it up in 43 minutes.
It was Saina’s second victory against the unseeded Korean in as many meetings, having defeated her in the Indonesia Open Super Series last year.
After a fabulous 2010 when she won the Indian Open, Singapore Open, Indonesia Open and Commonwealth Games gold, Saina injured her ankle in the final of the Hong Kong Open, which she won, in December.
She missed the season-opening Malaysian Open and was rusty in her comeback tournament at the Korean Open, making an early second-round exit.
In the All England championship, Saina found her touch but then went down to Japanese Eriko Hirose in the quarterfinals.
She avenged the defeat against Hirose in the second round here and then went on to scalp Bulgarian Petya Nedelcheva, seeded sixth, in the quarterfinals and South Korean Joo Youn Bae, seeded fourth, in the semifinals.