Local favourites Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth today gave double delight to the nation by clinching their maiden women and men's singles titles at the India Open Super Series badminton tournament here today.
Saina, the first Indian women shuttler to achieve world number one ranking, clinched her maiden title here after notching up a dominating straight game victory against former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand while Srikanth had to toil hard to register a thrilling three-game win over sixth seed Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the men's singles competition at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
While Saina, a bronze medalist at the London Olympics, played like a champion to get the better off a Intanon 21-16 21-14 in a relatively one-sided affair, world No. 4 Srikanth notched up his second successive title of the season by getting the better of sixth seed Axelsen 18-21 21-13 21-12 in a gruelling contest later in the day.
The men's singles summit clash was a rematch of the Swiss Open final where Srikanth had defeated world No. 6 Axelsen to clinch his first title of the season.
But up first Saina, coming into the match with a 5-3 overall advantage over her rival, was not tested much as the Indian was prepared for Intanon's deceptive game.
Saina encountered her rival with her better movements and powerful and accurate smashes to eventually wrest her second title of the season.
The girl from Hyderabad, who has been on a roll ever since her victory at the China Open, played like a champion as she anticipated her opponent's moves and caught her on the wrong foot during rallies.
Intanon, seeded third, seemed to be affected by her marathon semifinal match against Carolina Marin of Spain which lasted for close to an hour and and half yesterday.