Sindhu stuns Tai Tzu to keep Chennai afloat in PBL 3
Chennai, Jan 6 (PTI) Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu stunned world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying to keep defending champions Chennai Smashers afloat against Ahmedabad Smash Masters in the third Premier Badminton League (PBL) here today.
Lagging 0-1, Chennai's Sindhu saw off Tai Tzu 15-11, 10- 15, 15-12 in an exciting women's singles contest to keep the Smashers alive in this do-or-die contest at the Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here.
However, Sourabh Verma dished out a gritty game to shock world no 24 Brice Leverdez of France 12-15 15-14 15-12 in Chennai's Trump match to make it 2-0 in their favour with two matches still to go in the five-match tie.
Languishing at the bottom of the table, Chennai need a win to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages.
Sindhu's win was a huge win for Chennai as they were 0-1 down in the tie and her loss would have put them in a very precarious position but the world no. 3 Indian did not disappoint.
Tai Tzu, who has been invincible so far having beaten Awadhe Warriors' Saina Nehwal in the last match, started from where she left.
She was literally unplayable and deceived Sindhu with her clever drops. She raced to an 8-5 lead and it looked like she would close the game without much of a competition from the Indian.
However, after the break Sindhu, heavily strapped on right thigh, looked a different player as she switched gears to eventually seize the momentum and go up in the match.
In the second game, Sindhu cashed in on Tai Tzu's initial mistakes and blitz to an early lead. But Tai Tzu came back strong to lead 8-6 at the break.
After the breather, even though Sindhu started the proceeding winning two consecutive points, it was the World No.1 player who maintained her composure to finish the game to take the match into the decider.
In the third game, Sindhu took the charge early and aided by her opponent's unforced errors went into the breather 8-6. After the change of ends, Tai Tzu kept herself in the contest as the duo were tied 12-12 at one stage.
However, Sindhu won three straight points to send the packed stadium into a euphoric mood.
"It was a great win and I feel I did extremely well to beat Tai Tzu. She played very well and I am really happy to have won the match," Sindhu said after the match.
"The crowd was extremely motivating and their support helped me a lot in getting this win."
In the first match of the day, men's doubles pair of Lee Chun Hei Reginald and Kidambi Nandagopal beat Chris Adcock and Lee Yang 15-13 15-12 to steer Ahmedabad Smash Masters to a 1-0 lead early on