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PV Sindhu defeats He Bingjiao, Kidambi Srikanth loses in Badminton Superseries Finals

PV Sindhu won her opening match against Chinese world No. 9 He Bingjiao at the BWF World Superseries Finals. World No. 4 Kidambi Srikanth lost to Denmark’s world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in men’s singles

other sports Updated: Dec 13, 2017 23:54 IST
PV Sindhu,Kidambi Srikanth,He Bingjao
PV Sindhu will face Sayaka Sato in the second match of BWF World Superseries Finals.(AFP/Getty Images)

World No 3 PV Sindhu had to dig deep into her reserves to defeat Chinese world No. 9 He Bingjiao 21-11, 16-21, 21-18 in a Group A match at the BWF World Superseries Finals in Dubai on Wednesday.

In men’s singles, world No. 4 Kidambi Srikanth lost to Denmark’s world No. 1 Viktor Axelsen 21-17, 21-13 in just 38 minutes.

Sindhu, who won silver at the 2017 BWF World Championships, took one hour and four minutes to win. The Indian shuttler had finished as losing semi-finalist in the 2016 edition of the year-ending event.

READ | PV Sindhu cautious but confident ahead of BWF Super Series Final in Dubai

The Indian’s resilient performance against Binjiao under pressure and her stellar form this year, in which she won two Super Series titles, raises prospects of Sindhu finishing better in the 2017 edition.

Sindhu’s group also has Japan’s world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi and her compatriot Sayaka Sato (world No 15). The top two players from each of the two groups will proceed to the semi-finals.

Yamaguchi defeated Sato 21-12, 21-19 earlier on Wednesday. Sindhu will next face Sato on Thursday.

Sindhu show

Coming into the round-robin game, Bingjiao enjoyed a 5-4 win-loss record against Sindhu. However, India’s Rio Olympics silver medallist had no problem in winning the first game 21-11 in just 14 minutes.

READ | Pullela Gopichand not a fan of new participation rules, but urges players to focus on game

Despite Bingjao trying to match Sindhu in the initial phase, the India slowly built on her slender 6-4 lead. Bingjiao could not come up with anything special and soon trailed her by 10 points. Sindhu held to that lead to pocket the game 21-11.

In the second game, Sindhu’s Chinese rival came back strong. She matched the Indian star in every shot, and from the score of 7-7 started to dominate. Though Sindhu managed to take brief lead at 12-11, it did not last long.

Bingjiao garnered three straight points to go 14-12 up. She never let that lead diminish and clinched the second game 21-16 in 21 minutes.

Bingjiao carried her momentum from the second game into the third and took a 5-2 lead early on. From this point, Sindhu started her fightback. She first took three straight points and then went 8-6 up.

READ | PV Sindhu looks to end 2017 on a high with Dubai World Super Series Final victory

She increased her lead to four points and Bingjiao struggled to find an answer to Sindhu’s attacking play. Sindhu ultimately prevailed 21-18 in the third game.

Earlier, before the tournament started, Sindhu acknowledged that expectations from her have increased since she won the silver medal at 2016 Rio Olympics.

Kidambi Srikanth will next face Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei. (AFP)

Srikanth loses

Srikanth, only fourth player ever to win four Super Series titles in a year, could not live up to his biling and went down tamely to the top-ranked Axelsen.

The Danish star was on the job right from the start and never let Srikanth sneak in with a chance. He took just 38 minutes to defeat Srikanth 21-13, 21-17.

Srikanth will next face Chou Tien-chen of Chinese Taipei on Thursday. Srikanth’s group also has Shi Yuqi.

Sindhu and Srikanth are the only two Indians in the year-ending competition.

First Published: Dec 13, 2017 21:01 IST