Star shuttler Saina Nehwal produced a brilliant performance against world champion Ratchanok Intanon to guide India to a comfortable 3-2 victory over Thailand in the Uber Cup at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in Delhi.
Indian eves finished at the top of Group Y and remained invincible in the group stage by winning all three ties against Canada, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Saina provided India a nice start against Thailand by beating the world champion Ratchanok 22-20, 21-14 in the first singles. She played with a lot of confidence in front of the net and displayed better court coverage compared to her previous two encounters.
"It was all about confidence," Saina said after the match. "I have never played so well and I hope to carry this form to the next round. Getting the first game out showed that my confidence is still there. I somehow wanted to get that feeling of beating the top players. I know how hard I have worked for this."
"I still can't believe that I beat her in straight games and that too over here, where I have never played well. I got so emotional after winning. She is a world No 4 player and winning against her means I have trained really well and I hope to continue that in future."
Malaysian Grand Prix winner, PV Sindhu prevailed over Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 21-19, 21-14 in the second singles to put India 2-0 up in the rubber. Sindhu faced a tough fight from Porntip in the first game as she rallied back from 11-14 down to 19-19, but the 11th-seeded Indian wrapped up the match in 37 minutes.
Indian team took a 3-0 lead and sealed the encounter by winning the doubles tie against Duanganong Aroonkesorn and Savitree Amitrapai 21-16 21-13. The Commonwealth Games gold-medallist pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa outclassed their Thai opponents in 33 minutes.
Indian coach Pullela Gopichand decided to field Saina and Sindhu in the second doubles, but they lost 12-21, 21-18, 15-21 against Kunchala Voravichitchaikul and Sapsiree Taerattanachai.
Indian women's team will take a break on Wednesday after playing three matches back-to-back, while their men counterparts will be up against Germany in a dead rubber.
Find the Uber Cup highlights HERE.