Sindhu won her third Super Series title beating Nozomi Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18
This win helped Sindhu level the head-to-head stats against the Japanese 4-4
She claimed the title in a one hour and 24 minutes battle and become the first Indian shuttler to win in Korea
New Delhi :
India’s PV Sindhu won her third Super Series title beating Nozomi Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the women’s singles final of the Korea Open in a thrilling encounter in Seoul on Sunday. Sindhu, who had lost to Okuhara in an epic World Badminton Championships final three weeks back, got the better of the eighth seed in an encounter that lasted one hour and 24 minutes.
After Okuhara dominated the proceedings early on, Sindhu managed to save two game points and won the first game before being trounced by a ten-point margin in the second. Sindhu, seeded fifth in the tournament, got her act together in the third and the final game to take the title, her second Super Series win this year after India Open.
Speaking to TOI Sports soon after his ward PV Sindhu won the finals, India’s chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said: What a super match! Both players showed great spirit and determination. It was almost a repeat of the World championship final, though the result reversed, in our favour. Both players are great champions.”
This win helped Sindhu level the head-to-head stats against the Japanese 4-4 and in the process also broke Okuhara’s 14-match winning streak.
In a close game one, both shuttlers shared the lead often with Sindhu looking more aggressive than Okuhara. Sindhu got on top of the long rallies but Okuhara put up a strong resistance picking up the Sindhu’s smashes with ease. What was interesting to note was Sindhu experimented with the cross court backhand whip and while couple of her attempts went wide, Okuhara found it tough to track the movement.
Sindhu earned four points with that shot. Okuhara, looked strong in the rallies, but Sindhu’s reach made it tough for the Japanese to place her shots beyond the Indian. Even though Okuhara enjoyed two game points, four consecutive points from Sindhu meant the Indian took the first game 22-20.
After losing the first game, Okuhara stepped on the gas and looked in her elements in the long rallies. Okuhara got her touch back with the smashes that earned her five points, two of which came late in the game that assured Sindhu was left with too much to do. Her net play looked strong while Sindhu failed to connect with the cross court backhand whip well. Okuhara claimed the second game with thumping 10-point margin to take the final to the third and the deciding game.
Okuhara got things running in the final game, before Sindhu took over. While the Indian looked a bit tired in the second game, she was rejuvenated in the third and seemed to take the initiative with the attacks and that paid dividend. Sindhu managed to maintain a healthy lead for most part of the game. Okuhara, who looked sublime in the Game 2, started to lose the plot and three straight long shots meant Sindhu took a six-point advantage in the deciding game.
Okuhara though made a final dash but with her unforced errors count going up, the Japanese was left to play catch up. Sindhu only had to maintain her composure. Okuhara though was not going down without a fight but Sindhu managed to stave off the spirited Japanese by winning the longest- 56-shot – rally of the match that took Sindhu to 19-16. Sindhu had three match point opportunities and converted the second one to claim the title and become the first Indian shuttler to win in Korea.
The two 22-year-olds, who were involved in the second longest match of women’s singles at the Worlds final, entertained the crowd once again at another major final.
source: http://www.timesofindia.indiatimes.com / The Times of India / News> Sports News> Badminton News / TimesofIndia.com / September 17th, 2017