It is an incredible hat-trick from the most gifted woman shuttler ever to have graced world badminton from India.
By defending the Indonesian Open Super Series title in Jakarta on Sunday, 20-year-old Saina Nehwal completed a rare three in-a-row wins having won the Chennai Indian Open Grand Prix, Singapore Open Super Series and now the Indonesian Open title in a span of three weeks.
But there was a ‘battle' between the parents -- Dr. Harvir Singh and Usha Rani -- even as the world No. 3 was scripting another history.
Every time the father jumped up from his seat to applaud Saina scoring a point, the mother (herself a former Haryana State player) reminding him that the Japanese opponent Sayaka Sato is a very tough player.
“In the semi-final, Sato won after trailing by 12 points at one stage,” she pointed out.
As Saina switched gears in the decider, the cautious mood paved the way for optimism which soon turned into a delightful reality. In the full glare of the media, Harvir Singh, with tears of joy strolling down his cheeks, jumped as Saina clinched the title.
“Yeh, sab bhagwan ki krupa hai (this is all God's grace). My daughter has done it again,” was his reaction, struggling to control his emotions.
This time around, Saina's mother too joined the celebrations at the posh new flat in L&T Info City Tulip.
The mood at the Gopi Chand Academy where Saina trains was also one of elation as players like P. C. Thulasi, Aparna Balan, B. Sumeet, K. Nandagopal, Sourabh Varma and Manu Atri brought out a banner congratulating Saina and flashing victory signs.
“This is a great moment for all of us too. It is a privilege and an honour to train with someone like Saina who is not only a champion player but a simple person,” remarked Thulasi and Aparna.
“We are all awaiting for her arrival to host a grand welcome at the academy,” they chorused.