India’s star shuttler Saina Nehwal put up a solid fight in the Denmark Open final before going down 13-21, 21-13, 6-21 against Tai Tzu Ying. She had to thus settle for a silver.
The match went on for well over 52 minutes, as the two players fought it out for the win. However, Nehwal could not overcome the World No. 1, who has defeated the Indian on ten other occasions before the match. In fact, she has lost all the 5 matches she played against the Taiwanese. Nehwal won her first and only Denmark Open exactly six years ago.
Tai Tzu started the match with a four-point lead, with Nehwal giving away a service error point to her opponent. Later, the Taiwanese went into the first game’s break with a five-point lead. Saina, on her part, tried a comeback after the interval, winning three points in a row. However, her game was marred with consecutive errors as she gave away copious, needless points. Tzu, on the other hand, was oozing class, exemplified by the 36 shot rally that she won. Although Nehwal did appear to come back, when the score stood at 13-18, Tzu, through a series of smashes and drops, took away three points on the trot to seal the first match 13-21.
The second game was more of a controlled contest for the Indian shuttler, as she took a lead. It was Tai Tzu who was committing the errors this time, as she misjudged multiple shots, gifting points to Saina. The latter thus had a lead of six points 11-5 by the break. Saina later managed to take her lead even further to 8 points at 17-9. The match soon ended with Tzu conceding another set of points through errors. Nehwal won by 21-13. It was a rare win for her and the first in 6 previous matches.
There was a feeling that the final match would be a close encounter, with both the parties producing resilient but error-ridden performances. However, that was not the case.
Tai Tzu, it seemed, had rectified her mistakes, as she raced to a nine-point lead at 11-2. Nehwal, on the other hand, lacked the aggressive play she had demonstrated in the previous match. She simply failed to keep pace with the Taiwanese. The match ultimately finished at 6-21, with Saina losing by a massive 15 points.
The Indian has played in 17 finals of the BWF World Tour and Super Series events. Tai Tzu Ying has 25 finals to her name, the most among the active women’s singles players.