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Fuzhou, November 17, 2014 (PTI) On a historic day for Indian badminton, shuttlers Saina Nehwal and K Srikanth clinched the women’s and men’s singles title of the $700,000 China Open Super Series Premier respectively, here on Sunday. While Olympic bronze-medallist Saina had to draw from her reservoir of experience to stave off the challenge of the Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, young Srikanth notched up a stunning straight-game victory over two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan of China to register his maiden Super Series title.

In her sixth appearance in the prestigious tournament, the Indian prevailed over the 17-year-old Akane 21-12, 22-20 in the women’s singles final that lasted 42 minutes at the Haixia Olympic Sport Center. The 21-year-old Srikanth showed nerves of steel to produce a dominating performance which helped him see off five-time world champion Lin 21-19, 21-17 in the men’s singles final which lasted 46 minutes. This is the first time any Indian male shuttler has won a Super Series Premier event ever since its inception. In a battle of nerves, Srikanth led 11-7 initially but Lin came back to narrow it down to 11-10. 

The 31-year-old showed tremendous control in his strokes but the Indian used his sharp angled net dribbles and powerful smash to keep his nose ahead at 14-12. Lin, however, soon started bothering the Indian with precise strokes to turn the tables, reaching 19-17. 
Srikanth found his bearing in time and not only clawed his way back with a couple of points but also earned his game point after winning a referral. 

The Indian then produced a bodyline smash to snatch the opening game from his fancied rival.
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