Posted on: August 20, 2013
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IBL: Saina Nehwal of Hyderabad Hotshots thrashed Juliane Schenk of Pune Pistons

By Antara Das

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IBL: Saina Nehwal of Hyderabad Hotshots thrashed Juliane Schenk of Pune Pistons

Hyderabad Hotshots, led by Indian badminton icon and World No. 4 Saina Nehwal thrashed the unbeaten Pune Pistons by 4-1 in the Indian Badminton League on Monday.

The marvelous victory propelled the Hotshots to the apex of the league table with 11 points to their credit while pushed the Pistons in second place with a score of 9. 

Remarkably, Saina provided an early impetus to the Hotshots campaign against the league toppers by dominating the high quality women's singles clash against her long-time rival Juliane Schenk of Germany. Actually, this was the battle between world's top five players.

The Indian world number 4 hammered world number three Schenk by 17-21 21-19 11-6 in 59 minutes in front of an enthusiastic crowd chanting "Saina Saina". On the other hand, Ajay Jayram stunned world number 5 opponent Tien Minh Nguyen of Vietnam by 21-19 21-8 in the opening men's singles match within 40 minutes.

The encounter had all the makings of an excellent match between two of the world's top women shuttlers and enthralled the crowd. Truly both the players gave their best especially in the second game that continued for 27 minutes. It was observed that Saina began on the wrong note against Schenk by making a number of unforced errors in the commencing game which she lost quite tamely. However,Saina led the second game by 11-8 before it became 18-all and further 19-all. In fact, Saina leveled the match with a smash. Saina jumped to a 4-1 lead in the decider and led by 7-5 at the break in the final game following a series of long and exciting rallies. She continued with her game well while Schenk committed errors and acquired the tie when the German hit long.Actually, this was the German's first loss in three games in the IBL while Saina won all her three matches so far.

Saina remarked post victory that they have always had some great matches and today also it was a very good contest. She played very well.

Subsequently, the world no. 2 pair of V Shem Goh and Wah Lim Khah of Malaysia squashed the challenge of Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar of India by 21-19 and 21-16 to award the Hotshots a winning lead in the best of five clash, which is their second victory in three ties, ensuring the Pistons' first defeat in the tournament.

The semi finalist at All-England S Tanongsak of Thailand scored 4-0 for the Hotshots with a straight-game victory over Saurabh Varma of Pune Pistons. Notably, the left hander won by 21-19 21-18 in the second men's singles match. However, Pistons got a consolation victory along with one point from the tie when their mixed doubles combination of Joaquim Fischer Nielsen and Ashwini Ponnappa ousted Hotshots' partnership of V Shem Goh and Pradnya Gadre by 21-11 21-14.

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