Saina Nehwal vs PV Sindhu: Indian Badminton’s Golden Clash.
The rivalry between the two is a stuff of legends, and Saina, when asked about her friendship with Sindhu said, “It is difficult to be friends with opponents. It is true that we train together and talk to each other everyday. But we don’t have time to become good friends,”
One of Indian badminton’s most awaited battle is the match between Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu.
Saina Nehwal, a bronze medallist in 2012 London Olympics was the face of Indian badminton till PV Sindhu trumped her, with a silver medal of her own in 2016 Rio Olympics.
Saina had to bow out of the 2016 Olympics in unfortunate fashion and had to undergo a knee surgery. Sindhu meanwhile continued to take the badminton world by storm and has built on her silver medal.
The rivalry between the two is a stuff of legends, and Saina, when asked about her friendship with Sindhu, once said, “It is difficult to be friends with opponents. It is true that we train together and talk to each other everyday. But we don’t have time to become good friends,”
Sindhu in turn replied saying that Saina isn’t a special player whom she needs to beat.. “She (Saina) is not special that I have to win against her. She is like another player whom I have to play.It’s not that I have to win against her whenever I play. But I try to give my best against each player and gave my best against her too,” Sindhu had famously said.
These exchanges over the years and the visible cold vibes between the two gives their clashes an extra edge, and here is a look at the memorable matches featuring the two players so far.
INDIA GRAND PRIX GOLD
The first meeting between the two happened way back in 2014, when Sindhu was just 18 and was lacking in consistency.
Saina, in contrast, was already a known name and had the experience and maturity to win big titles.
Saina went onto comfortably win the match 21-14, 21-17, with Sindhu going down without giving much of a fight.
YONEX SUNRISE INDIA OPEN
The two met again three years later, in the 2017 Yonex Sunrise India Open and this time the tables had completely turned.
Sindhu was ranked higher and bubbling with confidence.
Saina, on the other hand, was still making her way back from a career threatening knee injury.
The result was an easy victory for Sindhu, in straight games, 21-16,22-20.
SENIOR BADMINTON NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS
You don’t often see the big names of Indian badminton compete at the national championships, but 2017 saw major contenders taking part, and it was nor surprise we had country’s top 2 players fighting it out in the final.
Saina, however, showed her grit and fought to beat Sindhu in straight games.
The first game was an easy victory for Saina, as she won 21-17, but the second game was a more closely fought battle with the game going to a tie breaker, and each player fighting it out, but Saina eventually triumphed 27-25 to seal the title.