PV Sindhu goes down to Beiwen Zhang in final, fails to defend India Open badminton crown

Updated on Feb 04, 2018 08:45 PM IST

PV Sindhu went down 18-21, 21-11, 20-22 to Beiwen Zhang of the United States in the women’s singles final of the India Open badminton tournament.

Runner-up PV Sindhu and American badminton player and India Open winner Beiwen Zhang pose with their medals after their women’s singles final in New Delhi on Sunday.(PTI)
Runner-up PV Sindhu and American badminton player and India Open winner Beiwen Zhang pose with their medals after their women’s singles final in New Delhi on Sunday.(PTI)
Press Trust of India, New Delhi | ByPress Trust of India

Defending champion PV Sindhu suffered a narrow defeat in a pulsating final against American Beiwen Zhang to finish runner-up at the India Open Super 500 badminton tournament, here today.

Playing her second tournament of the new season, Sindhu came agonisingly close to clinching the title before losing 18-21, 21-11, 20-22 to Zhang in the women’s singles final.

Sindhu always played long matches against Zhang, all of them going to the decider, and it was no different as the duo battled till the last point.

READ | PV Sindhu thrashes Ratchanok Intanon to enter India Open final

Prior to today’s loss, Sindhu had won twice and lost once at the Indonesia Open Super Series Premier last year against the American.

All England Championships finalist and fourth seed Shi Yuqi of China walked away with the men’s crown after beating world no 7 and third seeded Taiwanese Chou Tien Chen 21-18 21-14 in a 47-minute duel.

“Last year I didn’t win any tournament, so glad to win this and hope this become first of many to come,” world no 8 Shi Yuqi said through an interpreter.

“I had played him before, so I analysed those matches and it helped me win today. There were lot of long rallies in this tournament and I will take a lot of positives from here. It will boost my confidence.”

Chou, who settled for runner-up here for the second successive time, said: “I tried to push him but it is difficult top play against him. He smashed well. He is young and was stronger today. He was more focused than me.”

READ | India Open badminton: Pranaav Chopra- N Sikki Reddy crash out in semi-finals

Fifth seeded Danish combo of Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen prevailed 21-14 21-15 over Indonesian pair of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti in a 37-minute match to claim the mixed doubles crown, their first title together.

Mathias and Christinna had combined at the Denmark Open for the first time and finished runners-up at China Open Super Series Premier and Hong Kong Open Super Series last year.

“We know the Indonesians are very good and if we play too defensive or slow it will be difficult to beat them so we played an attacking game,” said Christinna after the match.

READ | Saina Nehwal, Carolina Marin bow out of India Open quarter-finals

“It is a long season and we would be playing at European Championship and All England next, which would be a big challenge,” she added.

Third seeded Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, who are ranked world no 7, defeated second seeded Thailand combo of Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-18 21-15 in a 58-minute match to clinch the women’s doubles title.

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