India Open 2017: How PV Sindhu conquered the Olympic champion Carolina Marin
Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu conquered the top seed and Olympic champion Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-16 to win the India Open 2017 title at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. This was her second consecutive victory over the Spanish southpaw which exhibited a clear gameplan that she had to subdue the dangerous Spaniard.
Sindhu never hesitated to take the shuttle early, thus robbing the reaction time from her illustrious opponent, who is known for her thunderous pace on court. The work that Sindhu has been doing with the newly-appointed Indonesian assistant coach Mulyo Handoyo was very much evident during the final.
A highly improved forecourt game from the Indian also took the Olympic gold medallist by surprise, who was simply not given a chance to find any rhythm.
The repeated forays into the net were noticeable even in her blockbuster quarter-final match against the former champion and senior compatriot Saina Nehwal. The confidence that she has acquired in that area of her game enabled her to push Marin to the back of the court time and again and finish points at the net before the lefty could even come back.
Sindhu never relented from attacking and the precision in her shots was the foundation of her success today. That mindset helped her to quickly build a 6-1 lead and put the pressure on Marin in front of a pro-Sindhu crowd, vociferously chanting the home hope’s name.
Marin, however, having already had the experience of winning on the biggest stages, did stage a brief comeback to level things at 16-16. Just when she inched ahead to 19-18 and hopes started looking bleak for the China Open winner, Sindhu found an extra gear to win three points on the trot and claim the first game.
The plan was to open up a massive lead in the second game to double the burgeoning pressure on Marin’s shoulders. Sindhu smartly tried extending the rallies in order to tire out the Spaniard and her defence – very much a weapon these days – aided in eking out error after error from the World No. 3.
Rotating the shots to put Sindhu out of position, the former World No. 1 did manage to halt the Sindhu juggernaut to a somewhat extent after that as she closed in to 13-15. But Sindhu and her tactical brain were up for the challenge.
Targeting Marin’s backhands more, she drew the error from the unprepared Spaniard and followed it up with excellent net play – the new facet of her game that was one of the principal architects of her India Open glory.