2014 Asian Badminton Championships - PV Sindhu goes down fighting to Wang Shixian; Lin Dan reaches final
PV Sindhu’s glorious run at the Badminton Asia Championships came to a fighting end at the hands of Wang Shixian, who scored her second successive win over the Indian player, having beaten her at the India Open Super Series recently. The world No.10 won the first game quite easily, but Wang worked her way back into the contest to script a come from behind 15-21, 22-20, 21-12 victory to reach the final.
The match was another thriller, lasting an hour and 18 minutes, as the determined Indian did everything possible to close out what would have been a sensational victory in the second game. But once the world No.2 edged the second game by the narrowest of margins, a disheartened Sindhu did not have enough in the tank to mount a meaningful challenge in the final game. After all the teenaged Indian has been on court for nearly five hours this week, having survived three-game encounters in each of her matches this week.
Sindhu, who lost for only the first time in four encounters against Shixian at the Sunrise India Open Super Series earlier this year, sought to avenge that loss to the Chinese star. She looked well on her way to accomplishing exactly that after a dominant start to the match. But Shixian showed remarkable resolve and determination late in the second game to wrest control of the match by swinging the momentum in her favour.
Indian fans were deprived of seeing the match as it was scheduled on the second match court that had no television coverage.
Reason being superstar Lin Dan was playing simultaneously on the main court against Liu Kai. The Chinese legend, ranked 83rd in the world, thanks to his intermittent visits to the circuit packed too much punch for his compatriot. He reached the final with ease, sailing past Kai 21-14, 21-13 in just 27 minutes.
Dan looks set to clinch his second title in a row having won the Chinese Masters Grand Prix Gold event last week without dropping a game. Dan had previously beaten rising Indian star Kidambi Srikanth in straight games to reach the semis. The reigning world champion was at his acrobatic best as he entertained the sparse crowd at Gimcheon in Korea with some diving efforts towards the end of his match against Kai.
Meanwhile, Sindhu can take heart from the bronze medal performance this week. The teenager had also reached the semifinals at the Swiss Open and the quarters at the Singapore Open earlier this year, but was at her fighting best this week. It has been a long week too, having gone the distance in each of her four matches this week.
Sindhu came from behind against Eriko Hirose to register her first career victory over the Japanese to reach the quarters. She did an encore against Busanan Ongbumrungpan, scoring her second straight victory over the Thai player to secure the bronze medal. With plenty of badminton left to play this year, Sindhu will now look to rest and recover for the Thomas and Uber Cup finlas to be held in New Delhi starting 18 May.