The much-awaited BWF World Tour Finals kicked off today in Guangzhou, China. Both the Indian qualifiers had tough matches today but one manages to impress with her never say die attitude and the other just failed to continue his brilliant form.
Last year's runner-up PV Sindhu defeated the defending champion, Akane Yamaguchi 24-22, 21-15 in a match lasting 52 minutes. The match started with Sindhu taking a 3-1 lead. But Yamaguchi's amazing retrieving skills resulted in a lot of errors creeping out of Sindhu's racquet.
At the mid-game interval, Yamaguchi managed to take an 11-6 lead. But the tall Indian refused to give up. The rallies got more intense as the match progressed. Sindhu levelled the score at 19-19 and had a game point at 20-19 but failed to capitalize as she made an error while serving. Akane again showed her class by having two game points but Sindhu's determination for the win helped her to take the opening game 24-22.
The second game also started with gruelling rallies. Both the players were tied at 10-10 as Yamaguchi won next point to go into the mid-game interval with a slender lead of 11-10. After the interval, Sindhu won seven straight points to take a 17-11 lead and stamp her authority on the second game. After this, she never looked back and won the second game 21-15.
Sindhu's form was questionable as she had struggled badly in the last couple of tournaments she played. But this straight game victory over the current world no. 2 definitely shows that she is back to her old form. Her next match will be against world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. Tai won her first match against Zhang Beiwen of USA 21-15, 21-17.
After Sindhu's straight game victory a lot was expected from the in-form Sameer Verma. Despite Gopichand's presence on the coaching bench on the courtside, Verma didn't prove to be any match against the Japanese world no. 1 Kento Momota. Sameer lost the match 21-18, 21-6 in just 35 minutes. His next match will be against Tommy Sugiarto of Indonesia.Published 12 Dec 2018, 13:00 IST