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No time to celebrate: PV Sindhu leaves for Malaysia immediately after memorable India Open victory

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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4.22K   //    02 Apr 2017, 22:46 IST
The finalists at the podium after the match

What’s the story?

PV Sindhu lifted the Yonex Sunrise India Open Superseries title after recording a memorable victory against Carolina Marin in straight games at 21-19 21-16. But there was no time to celebrate for the champion as she left immediately for Kuching where the Malaysia Open World Superseries Premier will be held from April 4 onwards.

The post-match press conference, that featured both finalists, was quite short. Sindhu expressed her delight at winning what is her second Superseries title and her first at home. She said, “I am very happy with my performance. Winning the first game was very crucial, with the score at 19-19 and it was anybody’s game at the time.”

She expressed her gratitude towards the home fans, who filled the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium to the brim and cheered Sindhu on passionately at every point. The match also saw P. Gopichand, the national coach, sitting courtside for the first time in this tournament, and the 21-year-old credited the victory to her coaches.

She said, “It was great having Gopi sir sit courtside and help me during the match.

“I also must thank the Indonesian coaches Mulyo Handoyo and Hariawan, who I have worked with for a little over a month and they have really helped me improve. I look forward to working with them in the coming months,” added Sindhu.

Despite the loss, Marin also cut a smiling figure after the match and congratulated her opponent for the victory. “Today, I couldn’t manage to control the match the way I wanted to and credit to Sindhu for playing so well. I’m very happy with my performance over the week and hoping to do well in Malaysia now!” she said.

Also Read: Sachin Tendulkar wishes PV Sindhu after her India Open win

In case you didn’t know...

The duo of Sindhu and Marin faced off at the final of the Rio Olympics last year with the Spaniard clinching the gold medal after a hard-fought encounter. Since then, any encounter between the two has been billed as a high-profile one.

It was Sindhu who won when they met at the Dubai Superseries Finals in December while Marin won their matchup in the Premier Badminton League.

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Also Read: PV Sindhu set to attain career high world number 2 ranking after India Open win

The heart of the matter

The match was an extremely hard-fought affair with each point a monumental battle of its own. Sindhu raced into an early 6-1 lead before Marin closed the gap to a single point. The Indian went into the breather with the score at 11-9, winning the point with a delightful cross-court drop. 

Sindhu looked to carry on the momentum but Marin fought back to draw level at 16-16 with a wonderfully disguised forehand drop. Six points later it was 19-19 and the match was there for anybody’s taking.

The silver medalist from Rio struck first after winning a battle at the net and converted the game point chance with a powerful smash that Marin could only return outside the court.

The Hyderabadi then won the first four points in the second game and while Marin brought the score to 8-7, Sindhu won three points in a row to gain an 11-7 lead. She extended it to 14-9 but again, the Spaniard dug deep to reduce the deficit to two points.

The killer blow from Sindhu came next as she smashed a forehand after a series of net dribbles and won the next three points to register an 18-13 advantage. Marin tried to counter-attack but the margin was too much for to recover as on the game point, she smashed a forehand into the net to give the second set to Sindhu 21-16.

What’s next?

The BWF Tour moves to Malaysia next for the $600,000 Malaysia Open World Superseries Premier that will be played from 4-9 April.

Author’s Take

It was a thrilling match for the spectators as the home favourite PV Sindhu defeated Marin in what was seen as a grudge match after the Olympic final in Rio de Janeiro. What was more awe-inspiring to see, was that despite a memorable victory at a home tournament, the Indian was already focused on the next task at hand.

Also Read: How PV Sindhu conquered the Olympic champion Carolina Marin

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