How PV Sindhu came back from the dead to enter China Open badminton final
PV Sindhu saved three match points to beat Korean Sung Ji Hyun 11-21, 23-21, 21-19 to reach the China Open Super Series final on Saturday.Updated: Nov 19, 2016 20:22 IST
PV Sindhu saved three match points to beat Korean Sung Ji Hyun 11-21, 23-21, 21-19 to reach the China Open Super Series final on Saturday. The Rio Olympic silver-medallist came back from a game down to defeat her higher-ranked opponent in 84 minutes and book a berth in Sunday’s final, where she will face Chinese Sun Yu.
Sindhu, seeded seventh, got off to a terrible start against the sixth seed who raced to a 5-1 lead. Sindhu tried to engage her opponent on the net but the Korean stayed on the baseline and played it deep, eventually wrapping up the first game in 17 minutes.
The second game started off neck and neck before Hyun again outsmarted her opponent. Switching volleys with drop shots, Hyun made the 5’10” Indian work hard to reach lower. She took five straight points to go into the mid-game interval with an 11-7 lead. The first point after the interval however turned things around.
A long rally saw both players match shot for shot, displaying solid defence and retrieving skills. Sindhu took the point and left Hyun gasping. Hyun — who was coming into the match a day removed from a marathon quarterfinal — appeared to be slowing down. A second wind and several errors from her opponent however handed Hyun three match points.
Looking down for the count, Sindhu conjured precise, angled drop shots to get out of trouble. She wasted a game point of her own, earned another with a smash down the line and forced the decider.
Despite several serve exchanges and another indifferent start in the third game, Sindhu looked in control against a tiring Hyun. With a hand on her waist, Hyun breathed through her mouth and called for the court to be mopped on more than one occasion. Sindhu capitalised on her increasingly erratic opponent’s mistakes and closed out the match.
Sindhu will now take on local favourite Sun Yu, who defeated fifth seed Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan 21-8, 23-21. Sindhu trails Sun Yu 2-3 in head-to-head, however the last meeting between the two came more than two years ago. The 21-year-old has come a long way since and will look to clinch her first Super Series title.
First Published: Nov 19, 2016 18:06 IST