Indian badminton star PV Sindhu may have had to endure a narrow 21-15, 12-21, 19-21 defeat to the World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi in the final of the World Superseries Finals in Dubai on Sunday, but she had plenty to be proud about. This was the first consistent season of Sindhu’s career where she won three titles (Syed Modi International, India Open, Korea Open) and finished as the runner-up in three others (World Championships, Hong Kong Open, World Superseries Finals).
The 22-year-old’s incredible consistency can be corroborated by the fact that she notched up 44 wins in 2017 -- the most by an Indian shuttler in a year since the Superseries circuit started in 2007. Prior to this, it was Saina Nehwal, who held the record with her 42 victories in 2014, a year that saw her triumphing at the Syed Modi International, the Australian Open and the China Open.
Twice this year Sindhu upset seeds higher than her and both of those wins were achieved at the India Open where she accounted for the top seed Carolina Marin and the second seed Sung Ji Hyun. She also went close to stunning the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-finals of the Australian Open only to squander a match point and lose in three gruelling games.
A year of personal firsts for Sindhu
Besides the number of matches won, the Pullela Gopichand protege also accomplished a lot of personal firsts in what can easily be termed as her and Indian badminton’s best season by a long shot. Thanks to her wins at the India Open and the Korea Open, she managed to taste glory at multiple Superseries events for the first time.
This was also the very first time in her career that she made it to six BWF finals in a single season, which is yet another record for Indian badminton this year for nobody else did it. Even the irrepressible Srikanth Kidambi reached only five finals in 2017.
However, all the achievements for the World Championships silver medallist this year would unfortunately be tinged with a bit of regret for two of her final losses came in two of the biggest events of the sport.Published 17 Dec 2017, 20:11 IST