Saina Loses as Mumbai Rockets Beat Awadhe Warriors to Enter Final
World No. 2 Saina Nehwal suffered a crushing defeat in Awadhe Warriors' Trump match as Mumbai Rockets stormed into the Premier Badminton League final with an emphatic 3-0 win at the Gachibowli Indoor stadium here on Friday.
The Mumbai side would now take on the Delhi Acers in the summit clash at the Siri Forts Sports Complex in the Capital on Sunday.
Mumbai won the men's singles, men's doubles and also the women's singles, in which Saina played for Awadhe, to bag four points. Awadhe got one point with its win in the mixed doubles, but Saina's loss in the trump match meant Lucknow drew a blank. As a result, the last match of the tie -- second men's singles, which was the trump match of Mumbai, was abandoned.
It was Mumbai's Han Li from China, who pulled off the sensational 15-8, 13-15 and 15-7 victory over Saina who is currently ranked world number two in Women's Singles.
Saina lost the first match 8-15 to Han Li but the Indian managed to win the second match 15-13 after a hard-fought battle. In the decider, Han Li proved a tough nut to crack as the Mumbai player got the better of her star rival.
In the mixed doubles match, Awadhe's Bodin Issara-Christinna beat Kamilla Juhl-Vladimir Ivanov of Mumbai 12-15, 15-13 and 15-14 in a close battle with both sides trying to outsmart each other.
With each team winning one game each, the third game was a close contest. Though Awadhe took an early lead, but the Mumbai players came back hard, but the former still clinched the match in the end.
Mumbai's HS Prannoy defeated Tanongsak S of Awadhe 12-15, 15-7, 15-9 in the first Men's Singles match of the day. Though Prannoy, who is currently ranked world number 20 in Men's Singles, lost in the first game, he managed to trounce his low ranked rival from Thailand in the next two games. Tanongsak is ranked 33 in world rankings.
After winning the match, Prannoy said: "A good win for my team after losing the first match. I had an unfortunate start and lost the first game. However, with my team's support and motivation, I came back strongly with better strategies.
"Tanongsak is very good player and challenged me many times in the match today and which i enjoyed. I just played my attacking game and reduced my errors. Happy to level the scores for my team."
Mumbai defeated Awadhe in the Men's Doubles 15-10, 12-15 and 15-13. The Men's Doubles was also a close match with both sides leaving no stones unturned to take an advantage. The Mumbai pair, however, prevailed over their rivals in the end.