Saina Nehwal fought brilliantly yet she failed to solve the big puzzle of Tai supremacy. Yes, once again the world No 1 from Chinese Taipei, Tai Tzu-Ying proved to be the perfect hurdle that Saina fails to cross and win.
Even though Saina won a game, still Tai reigned overall with 21-13, 13-21 and 21-6 in the grand finale of the Denmark Open BWF Tour Super 750 Tournament in Odense on Sunday. Exactly six years ago Saina Nehwal from India won the Denmark Open title but she couldn’t repeat the history this time. Tai, on the other hand, became the first Shuttler form Taipei to win the title and also won her last 11 matches against Saina.
All the way to the finals Saina Nehwal was on a huge supremacy beating world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi and former World Champion Nozomi Okuhara. However, she had to break her comfort zone to play against Tai who is unique in her abilities to change the direction of the rallies at will. Saina was instantly put to pressure as she committed some unusual errors in the form of long serves, service faults and misjudging serves that landed well inside the baseline.
The tactics of Tai Tzu is a real jigsaw and opponents generally has no clue where the shuttle will go whether clockwise, anti-clockwise, straight, cross, slow or fast.
We cannot blame Saina entirely for not being ready for the shot which defiles all the rules of physics and always has the element of surprise.
Saina was definite in her form who played a game of the best player in the world and the challenge is to display the same vigor in her next two tournaments-the French open and the China Open in the next month.