PV Sindhu made history on Sunday, after becoming the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals tournament. With a 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, PV Sindhu also became the first Indian shuttler to win gold at the year-ending tournament. Earlier, Saina Nehwal had reached the summit clash of 2011 World Super Series Finals and Jwala Gutta/V Diju contested the final in 2009.
Since September 17, 2017 at the Korea Open, Sindhu had reached the finals of Hong Kong Open, BWF World Tour Finals, India Open, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open, World Championships and Asian Games but came out with a silver medal each time.
In the week where Sindhu beat World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying to end her six match losing streak against the Chinese Taipei shuttler. The win in the final, over Okuhara who had denied her World Championship title in agonising fashion, was icing on the cake by finishing the tournament unbeaten.
PV Sindhu was the one who had a slender lead for the most part but Okuhara never gave way and allowed it to become a larger deficit until 17-16. A service error and an impatient smash wide of the line meant Sindhu was two points from glory. Okuhara took one point more but Sindhu held on to win the match and ensure she stood on the top of the podium this time and not on the second step
Playing her third successive season-ending tournament and second straight final, Sindhu let out tears of joy and relief when she thumped a smash across the net to seal the match on first opportunity. Last year, Sindhu was beaten by another Japanese shuttler in Akane Yamaguchi – who she beat in the first match of the round robin this year.
Okuhara started slowly in the opening game while PV Sindhu made a comeback and led 14-6 for a comfortable lead. Sindhu used her height to good effect with lovely drop shots and angled shots to Okuhara’s small frame. But, Okuhara climbed back to win all points that went the distance to make it an even game at 16-16 – winning 10 of the 12 points.
On the decisive time of the match, it was Okuhara that blinked and made two uncharacteristic errors to give Sindhu a 19-17 advantage. Soon enough, Sindhu had three game point opportunities and she squandered two – one by seeing Okuhara’s shot possibly land wide but without a challenge remaining in her bag. A drop shot on the third game point and Sindhu was one away from the gold medal.
Second game proved to be more of a competitive affair with neither shuttlers willing to give an inch which explains their 6-6 head-to-head coming into it and neither able to seal consecutive wins over the other since 2016-2017.
PV Sindhu was the one who had a slender lead for the most part but Okuhara never gave way and allowed it to become a larger deficit until 17-16. A service error and an impatient smash wide of the line meant Sindhu was two points from glory. Okuhara took one point more but Sindhu held on to win the match and ensure she stood on the top of the podium this time and not on the second step.
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