Saina Nehwal got the better of reigning Asian Games champion Shixian Wang of China 21-17, 21-18 to win the first match of Group A of the $1,000,000 Badminton World Federation (BWF) Superseries Finals in Dubai.
Displaying vintage form, the Indian World No.4 dominated the World No.2 Shixian from the start and won the match in 58 minutes at the Hamdan Sports Complex.
In the first game, it was a neck-and-neck contest till the eighth point. Then, the Hyderabadi upped the ante and snatched 10 straight points to secure the first game even if Shixian staged a late fightback.
The second game saw an even contest as Shixian proved why she is the reigning Asian Games champion, taking the game to the wire. But, Saina managed to keep her composure and held her nerve to pull off a sensational victory.
With this win, the London Olympic bronze medallist took a 6-5 lead in career meetings against the formidable Chinese.
In the next match, the 24-year-old Saina will take on South Korean Sung Ji Hyun, who trails 1-4 in career meetings against the Indian, on Thursday.