New Delhi, Mar 19 (PTI): Saina Nehwal won her first title of the season when she retained the Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold trophy with a straight-game victory over China's Shixian Wang in the summit clash at Basel, Switzerland.
The world number five Indian defeated Shixian, ranked third, 21-19 21-16 in a
48-minute thrilling women's singles competition to defend her title.
Saina made a whirlwind start to the final, zooming to a healthy 11-3 lead in the first game. Shixian reeled off four straight points and slowly made her way to level the score at 17-all but the Indian made sure she had nose ahead in the end.
In the second game, Saina had an early 3-0 lead allowed the Chinese to claw her way back to 11-8 at the break. After the breather, the Indian gathered herself and caught up with Shixian at 13-13 and then registered four straight points from 15-all to eventually seal it comfortably.
The girl from Hyderabad, who turned 22 yesterday, Saina had beaten Japan's Minatsu Mitani in the semifinals last night.
The Indian ace had registered a 21-16 21-18 triumph over Mitani in 35 minutes to set up a summit clash with second seed Shixian. The Chinese beat eighth seed Inthanon Ratchanok of Thailand 21-17 21-15 in another women's singles match.
In the semifinal match, Saina didn't allow the Japanese to come close to her as she opened up a 3-0 lead and kept extending it to pocket the first game.
In the second game, Mitani showed some aggression and led 7-3, but Saina caught up with her and then moved ahead to seal the match.
Saina had reached the quarterfinal of the All England Championship earlier this month. She reached the semifinals at the Malaysia Open and the quarterfinal in the Korea Open in January this year.