In a stellar season for PV Sindhu, it has been her mastery over Chinese shuttlers that has stood out. The 22-year-old notched up her eighth win over a Chinese player when she outlasted World No. 8 Chen Yufei 21-15, 21-18 to reach the final of the Dubai World Superseries Finals for the first time.
Sindhu is 8-4 against China in 2017
The lanky Indian has stood like a rock against the Chinese in a year that has been pretty unforgettable for the once formidable nation. With the two superstars -- Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian -- having retired, and former Olympic champion Li Xuerui not in action, China is undergoing a transition and has found it tough to maintain their legacy. That is evident from the fact that they have won any title in women’s singles this year.
The country is now grooming talented youngsters, who they hope will carry the mantle forward. The likes of Chen Yufei and He Bingjiao, who are the best of the next generation, have found it difficult to overcome Sindhu in the biggest matches, despite having beaten her in a couple of other tournaments.
Sindhu’s ability to raise her level on the biggest occasions is what has made the major difference. Her first win over a Chinese was at the Australian Open when she prevailed over 19-year-old Chen Xiaoxin. She then got the better of the fifth seeded Sun Yu and the eighth seeded Chen Yufei in back-to-back matches at the World Championships.
Sindhu mastered the troublesome He Bingjiao on her way to winning the title at the Korea Open and once again breached the Chen Yufei barrier at the French Open. At the China Open last month, she pummelled World No. 86 Han Yue in straight games.
At the ongoing World Superseries Finals, she achieved her seventh win over a Chinese when she laboured for a three-game victory over He Bingjiao, before showing the door to Chen Yufei on Saturday. In between, the lanky Indian has lost to a Chinese only four times, with two of those defeats coming against Chen Yufei.
The Pullela Gopichand protégé will now hope to become the first Indian to win a title at the prestigious World Superseries Finals when she meets the World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan on Sunday.Published 16 Dec 2017, 23:36 IST