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Saina, Sourabh claim singles titles
Sports reporter

Saina Nehwal receiving the trophy from Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarmah in Guwahati, on Saturday. – UB
 GUWAHATI, Feb 16: Defending champion Saina Nehwal edged past PV Sindhu in straight games 21-18, 21-15 in the summit clash to retain the women’s singles crown in the 83rd Yonex Sunrise Senior Badminton Nationals here at the Tarun Ram Phookan Indoor Stadium in the RG Baruah Sports Complex on Saturday.

 It was a repeat of the last edition’s final and before a capacity crowd the 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Saina once again had the upper hand over Sindhu. It was an exciting encounter between two Olympic medallists and world’s leading women shuttlers. Saina enjoyed domination from the initial stage with her power-packed smashes and maintained lead throughout the title clash.

Earlier, Sourabh Verma completed a hat-trick of titles at the senior nationals, claiming the men’s singles title by defeating young Lakshya Sen 21-18, 21-13 in straight games. The champion of the 2011 and 2017 editions, Sourabh showed great composure and tactical brilliance to outplay defending champion in a seemingly one-sided affair.

In men’s doubles Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Chirag Shetty clinched the title with a 21-13, 22-20 victory over top seeds Arjun MR and Shlok Ramchandran 21-13, 22-20 in 33 minutes.

Chirag and Pranaav came together after the former’s regular partner Satwik Rankireddy was sidelined ahead of the tournament due to an injury. Satwik and Chirag had finished runners-up at the last edition.

In the mixed doubles Manu Attri and Maneesha K won the title defeating Rohan Kapoor/Kuhoo Garg 18-21, 21-17, 21-16. The women’s doubles crown went to Shikha Gautam/Ashwini Bhat K duo who prevailed over bt Meghana Jakkampudi/Poorvisha S Ram 21-16, 22-20.

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