PBL win is a great confidence booster, says PV Sindhu after win over Ji Hyun Sung
- Sindhu led her Chennai side to victory against the Mumbai Rockets in the final of PBL 2.
What’s the story?
The Chennai Smashers won the second edition of the Premier Badminton League after defeating the Mumbai Rockets in the final by a narrow 4-3 margin. The mixed doubles pairing of Chris and Gabby Adcock, along with PV Sindhu and Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk won their respective matches to lead their side to victory.
Sindhu, the silver medalist from the Rio Olympics, was up against a formidable opponent in the form of world number three Ji Hyun Sung. “I’m very happy with the team’s win. The last match was quite crucial and I’m glad we could pull through,” said an ecstatic Sindhu in the post-match press conference.
When asked what her successful run in the tournament meant to her, the 21-year old stated that it was a great boost in confidence for her. “These wins give great confidence, especially since it’s the beginning of a new year. Of course, we will see each other in the coming tournaments but such performances do help,” she said.
“Every single match was tough and with the 11-point system, it is difficult to predict who has a better chance of winning. I’m glad I was able to do well,” Sindhu added.
Parupalli Kashyap, who lost a thrilling encounter to HS Prannoy, was full of praise for Saensomboonsuk after he won the decider against a much-fancied Ajay Jayaram. “He hadn’t played in five days before today and we weren’t really expecting him to pull it off. But he’s a special player and thrives on such occasions when there is intense pressure,” said the gold medalist from the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
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Sindhu was coming off a spectacular straight-set win against compatriot Saina Nehwal in the semi-finals, while her South Korean opponent in the final had defeated Carolina Marin in a remarkable come-from-behind victory. It was the second fixture in the tie, with the Chennai Smashers leading 2-0 after the trump pairing of the Adcocks had defeated the Rockets duo 11-9 11-6.
The heart of the matter
Sindhu started off well and did not allow Hyun to come close to the net – a strategy that worked in her favour as she went into the mid-game break with a lead of 6-4. The Korean made a brief surge and erased the deficit before Sindhu broke away to win the game 11-8.
After the change of ends, Hyun took a slender 2-1 lead but she could not hold on to it and a few unforced errors from her racquet saw Sindhu go 5-2 up. The Mumbai shuttler again clawed her way back and made it 5-5, before a smash from Sindhu saw her go into the break leading 6-5. From there on, Sindhu dominated the remainder of the match and despite giving away two match points, she prevailed to win the game 11-8.
The players will now enter the regular circuit after the tournament, with Sindhu featuring next in the Syed Modi International Championships in Lucknow. The win will see Chennai pocket a prize purse of Rs. 3 crore, while Mumbai will go home with Rs. 1.5 crore.
It was a truly fascinating contest, with the crowd cheering every point. The quality of badminton on display was top notch and made for compelling viewing. The PBL signed off with a bang and after the success of this season, the next one promises to be even bigger and better.Published 15 Jan 2017, 10:12 IST