Commonwealth Games 2018: It's Saina vs Sindhu in badminton final

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The former world number 1 won the game 21-18, 23-21 and repeated her gold-winning performance from Commonwealth Games 2010, becoming the only Indian player to win two gold medals in the singles event. "A proud moment for our country", says Sindhu reflecting on her maiden silver in the Commonwealth Games (she won bronze earlier).

Saina was sacked up and played with power and aggression to put Sindhu under pressure right from the start.

The brute force of Sindhu's smashes was something that Saina found hard to deal with. Asked if playing against Sindhu in a big final like was more of a mental battle than anything else, Saina kept it simple.

The strategy worked quite well for the London Olympics bronze-medallist and she raced to a 9-4 lead. Saina had also remained unbeaten throughout in the tournament.

There was huge anticipation among people ahead of the all-India final match between the two Hyderabad-born shuttle queens.

What also stood out was Saina's sharper instincts to leave the returns that landed out. She maintained the three-point lead till 15-11. "I think I was completely fine so nothing to complain about that". It had everything in it: precision, agility, remarkable court coverage and most importantly abundance of stamina. Their gloomy prognostications were given free rein when Saina herself voiced the fear that her career appeared to be at an end. With this win Saina, ranked 12th in the world, took her overall head-to-head record against Sindhu to 4-1.

On Sunday, Saina beat, Sindhu in two straight sets 21-18, 23-21.

Sindhu, who hadn't lost a single game in her run to the final, looked utterly exhausted made more errors than usual. Nevertheless, PV Sindhu still has a long long way to go and she will only get better with time.

Every Saina-Sindhu match brings with it a batch of fresh questions. It was yet another final loss for Sindhu, who is now being criticised for not being able to pull off high-pressure games.

Sindhu however, and continued to pick up the points bolster her advantage despite excellent play by Saina. She had won two of their three career meetings and had also defeated Sindhu in the final of the national championships previous year.

Saina had to employ far greater energy to stay in control of the rallies with constant smashing and efforts to control the net.

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