Badminton Year-Ender: Top 5 shuttlers of the 2019 season
The sparks have flown for the year with the courts heating up with tense badminton action. Feisty rallies, jaw-dropping smashes, gentle netplay to the violent attacking shots — the year has seen it all.
In another outstanding season of phenomenal badminton, Indian fans had their exclusive moment of glory during August when ace shuttler PV Sindhu finally crowned herself as the World Champion in Basel.
Other than that, the year was not all that memorable for most of India's shuttlers while the South-East Asians continued their stronghold over the game. Women's World No. 1 and Chinese sensation, Chen Yufei stole the thunder this year with storming wins in the BWF World Tour circuit while World No. 2 Taiwanese force, Tai Tzu-Ying gave the best of the best a run for their money as she played some classic matches and took home rave laurels.
On the men's front, World No. 1 Japanese player Kento Momota has been the real star with the crown of World Champion on his head and spectacular wins to back up his 'BWF Best Male Player of the Year' award. Other than the singles show, doubles specialist duo of Sukamljo and Gideon really owned the game, picking up BWF titles and Championships throughout the course of the year.
While it hasn't been the best of years for the Indian shuttlers, if we are to consider the overall output. Save for Sindhu and Lakshya Sen and even the duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, the year has not been the most glamourous for the Indians.
There were several moments of tense drama on the court and nail-biting action and intense rallies that ensured that it was a win-win situation for the sport, with players toiling hard and true in their matches.
Let's take a look at the 2019 season and how the top 5 shuttlers fared.
#5 PV Sindhu
For Hyderabadi ace shuttler PV Sindhu, it has been a wonderful 2019 as she set a new record for herself and India when she finally laid her hands on the elusive gold medal at the BWF World Championships. In a storming final in Basel, Sindhu took down her old nemesis Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to be crowned the World Champion. There was no stopping a determined Sindhu who put up an impressive performance that had Okuhara fighting or points in vain.
After that amazing high, Sindhu’s form considerably dropped with early-exits in the next six tournaments. Save for a quarter-final finish at the Fuzhou French Open 2019, Sindhu’s lone crowning moment of the year came on August 25th in Basel. Sindhu has laid down a record of winning medals at every World Championships, the exception being in 2015.
A recipient of both the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri, Sindhu became the second woman in the world to win five or more medals at the World Championships. Sindhu will be raring to make a comeback next year and impress with her performances on-court again.