Delhi’s Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, jam-packed with the ecstatic crowd cheering their favorite shuttler, ‘Sindhuu.. Sindhuu..’, in anticipation of the most desired moment. With the Indian ace just a point away from making history, the Olympic and World champion, Carolina Marin’s return fell trap to the net turning the continuous chants of the crowd into an elated roar! PV Sindhu had won the Yonex Indian Open 2017 title against the Olympic star 21-19, 21-16.
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Winning the first game was important for both the contenders and Sindhu raced into it gaining a massive 6-1 lead. She was constantly in the lead, but an experienced Carolina put on a comeback, bridging the gap at 16-16 and also took the lead taking the match to a 19-18 decisive stage. This was the only threatening phase for the Indian star, but she tackled it like a pro and won all the points after that for a 21-19 much-needed win!
The Hyderabadi started off the second game by winning the first four points at a stretch 4-0. Fighting back, Marin brought the score to 8-7. In trying hard to put Sindhu out of position, Marin got really close at 15-13. However, an undeterred Sindhu with her excellent net play throughout manoeuvred the game to a comfortable 20-15 match point. Just one point away from the huge victory. And Marins’s error towards the end made the cherished Indian champion raise her hands in triumph as she won the $24,375 Indian Open title for the first time!
“It was a very important Super Series tournament, at home and at the start of the year. I was fighting for every point and am very happy with how I played throughout the tournament,” the Indian star said to the Indian Express. “Errors at the end of the first game hurt me badly. I played well here, but every player is improving by the day, and it is small things that make the difference. I am getting better after injury. The confidence is coming back, and I am motivated to keep fighting hard,” the Olympic champion said.
With this win, Sindhu, formerly at the 5th position, is set to attain a career-high 2nd position in the BWF World Rankings. Earning 9200 points, she has overtaken Carolina Marin who will remain at the 3rd position. The Spaniard had defeated Sindhu in the 2016 Rio Olympic finals. And the Indian Open was a perfect display of Sindhu’s improvement since then, both in her game as well as her confidence.
PV Sindhu is now focussed on the $600,000 Malaysia Open World Superseries Premier that will be played from 4-9 April.