Mumbai: Hyderabad Hotshots, spearheaded by Indian badminton icon Saina Nehwal, brought down the high flying, unbeaten Pune Pistons in impressive style with a comprehensive 4-1 victory in the Indian Badminton League at the NSCI courts here on Monday.
Saina provided the early spark to the Hotshots campaign against the league toppers by clinching the high quality women’s singles clash against her long-time German rival Juliane Schenk.
The world No. 4 downed world No. 3 Schenk 17-21, 21-19, 11-6 in 59 minutes after her compatriot and teammate Ajay Jayram shocked Vietnamese rival Tien Minh Nguyen, world No. 5, 21-19, 21-8 in the opening men’s singles encounter.
Later, the Malaysian pair of V Shem Goh and Wah Lim Khah subdued the challenge of India’s seasoned pair Sanave Thomas and Rupesh Kumar 21-19, 21-16 to give the Hotshots a winning lead. Thailand’s S Tanongsak, a semi finalist at the All-England made it 4-0 for the Hotshots with a straight-game victory over Pistons’ Saurabh Varma. The left-hander won 21-19, 21-18 in the second men’s singles match.
Pistons got a consolation victory as well as one point from the tie when their mixed doubles combination of Joaquim Fischer Nielsen and Ashwini Ponnappa downed Hotshots’ pair of V Shem Goh and Pradnya Gadre 21-11, 21-14. (Agencies)