Watch: PV Sindhu and Carolina Marin involved in an epic 52-shot rally
Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu and world number 2 Carolina Marin of Spain were involved in an incredible 52-shot rally during the opening match of the Premier Badminton League (PBL). Both the players refused to give an inch of space to the other as they fought tooth and nail over one point, thus truly reflecting the quality of badminton being played in the league.
Sindhu had previously scripted history by storming into the final of women’s singles badminton at the Rio Olympics. After Saina Nehwal crashed out of the Games, all hopes were pinned on Sindhu to bring home a medal. And she did not disappoint.
However, the 21-year-old fell at the final hurdle. Sindhu faced then world number 1, Marin in the final. The experienced Spaniard emerged victorious over the Indian youngster after an intriguing finale.
Despite her best efforts, Sindhu lost 21-19 12-21 15-21 to Marin in the 83-minute match, much to the disappointment of the Indian fans. Nevertheless, Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.
The two were pitted against each other again at the year ending Dubai World Superseries Finals. On that occasion, Sindhu had her revenge, prevailing over the Spaniard 21-17 21-13. The score line does not truly reflect the nature of the hotly contested affair. With the win, Sindhu also progressed to the semi-finals.
The Premier Badminton League pitted the two rivals against each other yet again. Marin, who is playing for the Hyderabad Hunters, and Sindhu, who is playing for the Chennai Smashers, kicked off the campaign in style on Sunday.
Now, in the PBL, the matches have been shortened to make them more exciting with each of the best of three games being decided by 11 points. Marin held her own as she clinched the opening game 11-8. But Sindhu fought back to take the 2nd game 14-12 after conceding an early lead.
In the deciding game, Marin stormed to 3-0 lead. As the Spaniard served for the next point, few would have expected what was to follow. The crowd were left in awe as the two showcased a wide range of shots as they embarked on the 52-shot rally. If Marin attacked with gusto, Sindhu defended as if her life depended on it and vice versa.
Finally, Marin claimed the point by intelligently playing a drop shot to force Sindhu into a mistake and finished it off with a smash to the centre of the court. The Spaniard then went on to win the set 11-2.
The Hyderabad Hunters eventually won the fixture 4-3 after going down 1-3 to start the PBL on a winning note.