Saina Nehwal created history as she became the first India women shuttler to win the Indonesia Masters badminton tournament on Sunday. Saina was named the winner after her final opponent Carolina Marin conceded the final due to an injury that she sustained during the first game.
Reigning Olympics champion Marin got off the blocks quickly as she raced away to a 5-1 early lead. Saina had no answers to Marin’s quick baseline play as in no time, the Indian ace fell 4-10 behind.
But that is when calamity struck for the number fifth seed as Marin twisted her right foot following an awkward landing after hitting a shot. Marin was down on the ground for a brief period and wincing in pain. She tried to continue and even won the first point after the injury stoppage.
But unfortunately for the former world number 1 as Marin couldn’t continue further as pain got the better of her and she had to withdraw from the final. Saina was crowned the champion even though she admitted during the post-match presentation that she didn’t like way it all ended for Marin.
“It is important year for all of us. This was not good at all. She is a tough competitor, she started off well and it is unfortunate what happened today,” said Saina, who last won a BWF title in 2017 in Malaysia.
It is a creditable performance for the Indian, who had suffered a shin injury late last year.
“I just came out of injury. I played this events to see how good is this. and I’m happy I could play the semifinals at Malaysia and final here. Looking forward to get back to shape and play next tournament,” she said.
“I have been getting injured in the last few years. I always try to come back stronger, there is no secret. I want to thank physios and coaches who are supporting me a lot.” Saina had won a gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, a bronze at the Asian Games, besides reaching finals at the Denmark, Indonesia Masters and Syed Modi International.