#DenmarkOpenFinal: Saina wins silver; fails to break Tai Tzu code
Saina Nehwal gave her all before losing steam as she yet again succumbed to nemesis and World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying to settle for a runner-up finish at the Denmark Open in Odense. In an exciting but energy-sapping 52-minute final, Saina lost 13-21, 21-13, 6-21 to the superior Chinese Taipei rival. Tzu Ying claimed the Denmark Open title after a gap of two years.
Saina's fifth straight defeat against Tzu Ying this year
Tzu Ying had last won the Denmark Open in 2016. The win also bettered Tzu Ying head-to-head record against Saina to 13-5. In fact, this was the Indian shuttler's fifth straight defeat against Tzu Ying this year. Saina had come out second best four times earlier this year - Indonesia Masters, All England Championships, Badminton Asia Championships, and in the Jakarta Asian Games.
Tzu Ying dictated the pace in the final
The top seed Taipei player meant business from the start in the final today as she dictated the pace in the first game to race to a 6-1 lead. Saina looked indecisive but debatable poor line calls also cost her dearly. Tzu Ying on the other hand, was at her clinical best as she engaged Saina in long rallies to tire her out.
Tzu Ying pocketed first game in a mere 15 minutes
Tzu Ying never let Saina take the lead even once in the opening game as she led 11-6 and continued to maintain the upper hand. She pocketed the first game in just 15 minutes. But the World No. 10 Indian, who was unseeded here, was in no mood to give up without a fight and came out all guns blazing in the second game.
Saina made a come back in second game
Saina's ploy to adopt an attacking approach worked wonders as she completely dominated the second game. Inspiration and tips from her fiancee Parupalli Kashyap at the end of the first game also motivated Saina who was at her fiery best in the second game. Saina led 11-5 at the break and then went on to win the game 21-13 to draw parity.
Saina's legs gave up in wake of intense match
Saina, however, failed to continue with the momentum in the decider. Tzu Ying curtailed her mistakes and once again engaged Saina in long rallies which drained her out. Unforced errors returned to haunt Saina; she was guilty of finding the net and hitting wide. Once Tzu Ying took a seven-point lead at 9-2 it was always going to be difficult for Saina to comeback.