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Saina defends title

India’s Saina Nehwal, who has not had the best of time with injuries in the last 18 months, showed some of her old fire as she retained the Yonex Swiss Open on Sunday.

The former world junior champion, who this week was replaced as the world No. 4 by China’s Li Xuerui, outplayed second seed Wang Shixian of China in straight games to hold on to the only title she won in 2011.

Saina (left), who celebrated her 22nd birthday on Saturday, dominated the opening exchanges to race to a 11-3 lead in the first game.

Wang Shixian (below), however, managed to draw level at 17-17. Saina conceded two more points before closing out the first game.

The Chinese star took the lead in the second game, going up 11-8 at the break, but once again, faded towards the end as Saina finally returned to the winner’s circle with a 21-19, 21-16, victory.

Saina had reached the quarter-final of the All England last week and in the other two BWF World Superseries tournaments this year, was a semi-finalist in Malaysia and reached the last eight in South Korea in January.

In the women’s doubles, two young Chinese pairs, who have already tasted glory in Superseries tournaments, clashed to find out the winner of this Grand Prix Gold event.

China Masters winners Huan Xia-Tang Jinhua, who knocked out former world No. 1s Wong Pei Tty-Chin Eei Hui in the semis, had too much firepower for Japan Open champions Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin.

Although unseeded, Huan Xia-Tang Jinhua (left), had marched into the final without dropping a game and they continued their perfect record in the final with a dominating display to clinch the title with a score of 21-17, 2-10.

Bao Yixin-Zhong Qianxin had reached the final by upsetting third seeds Mami Naito-Shizuka Matsuo in the quarter-finals and top seed Ha Jung Eun-Kim Min Jung in the semi-finals.

Their earlier exploits took a toll and they were clearly a spent force in the title decider.

For full results, click here.

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