India’s Saina Nehwal defeated Olympic champion Carolina Marin 22-20, 21-18 in a tense first round encounter of the Denmark Super Series Premier on Wednesday.
The encounter, that lasted 46 minutes, was a hard-fought one with both fighting tooth and nail. Nehwal, though, opened up a slender 11-9 lead at the mid-innings break in the first game. Marin, though fought back hard to level things up at 14 all. The two did not give the other any quarter as they remained on level terms at 19-19. It was then that Nehwal just pushed a little harder and had the Spaniard chasing her. She eventually prevailed with 22-20 win after 22 minutes.
The two began the second game in similar fashion and were locked on points for much of the first half. Nehwal once again took the lead at the change of ends. She did not let the lead slip this time around and stretched it to five points. Marin could not keep up with Indian from there on and could do little as Nehwal closed out the game 21-18.
Meanwhile, in the men’s singles draw, India’s Kidambi Srikanth made short work of compatriot Shubhankar Dey as he prevailed 21-17, 21-15. The other Indian in the fray, B Sai Praneeth, though failed to advance after slumping to a 21-10, 21-15 defeat at the hands of Hans-Kristian Solberg Vittinghus.