Fuzhou: PV Sindhu beat Chinese shuttler Sun Yu 21-11, 17-21, 21-11 in the final of China Open, on Sunday, to win her first major title since her exploits in the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she bagged a silver medal.
This win makes Sindhu only the second Indian and third non-Chinese shuttler to claim the title in the history of China Open. Saina Nehwal, who won the title in 2014, was the first Indian woman to win China Open.
While India’s ace shuttler Saina was knocked out in the first round by Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand, earlier this week, the country’s hopes in China Open rested on the shoulders of the Olympic silver medallist.
Unlike her eventful semifinal clash against Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea, where she had to save three patch points, Sindhu went off to a flyer from the very start in the final.
The 21-year-old Indian raced into a 9-3 lead early on in the first game, as she completely dominated Yu. Sindhu went on to comfortably clinch the first game 21-11.
The Indian shuttler carried forward her good momentum into the second game, surging into a 13-9 lead.
However, Sun, who was much slower on the court that the lanky Sindhu, made a couple of adjustments to her game, in order make a good comeback, drawing level at 14-14, and then taking the lead at 16-14.
While Sindhu did manage to draw level with a couple of consecutive points, Sun’s strategy of using a variety of strokes worked in her favour, as she went on to clinch the second game 21-17.
The third and deciding game started off in the same vein, as both the players went neck-and-neck against each other, drawing level at 6-6. However, Sindhu managed to take a 11-8 lead just before the break, and that gave her the momentum to finish her tired opponent off in the final phase of the match.