New Delhi: World no. 3 P.V. Sindhu defeated no. 11 Beiwen Zhang 12-15, 15-7, 15-9 to help Chennai Smashers take a 2-1 lead in the Premier Badminton League match against Mumbai Rockets here on Wednesday. Sindhu lost the first game 12-15 but displayed grit and composure to bag the second game 15-7. In the third game, Zhang went ahead 5-4 but Sindhu seized the initiative thereafter, taking a 8-7 lead.
From thereon Sindhu stretched her opponent one end of the court to another to win the third and final game 15-9. Earlier, world no. 24 Brice Leverdez of France staved off a staunch challenge from world no. 30 Sameer Verma, beating him 15-14, 10-15 and 15-14 in a high-octane men’s singles clash.
Verma pulled off accurate deceptive shots to level at 9-9 after Leverdez went into the break with an 8-6 lead. However, the Frenchman was on top of his game to clinch the all-decisive point with the scores tied at 14-14. In the men’s doubles encounter, Mumbai Rockets’ Lee Yong Dae and Tan Boon Heong toyed with the Smasher’s pair of B. Sumeeth Reddy and Lee Yang to defeat them 15-9, 15-6. The first game ended in Rockets’ favour as they broke away from an 8-6 lead to win it 15-9. The next game saw the pair of Dae and Heong attempt steep smashes, thrashing their opponents 15-6.