Hyderabad: World No.10 Beiwen Zhang produced a terrific performance to stun Hyderabad Hunters’ P. V. Sindhu 15-13, 15-8 and gift the Awadhe Warriors a crucial point at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League Season 4 at the Gachibowli Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.
In a high-profile encounter between two top 10 women’s singles shuttlers, Sindhu squandered a 9-6 lead to concede the first game to Zhang 13-15. The BWF World Tour Finals champion has had mixed fortunes so far in Season 4, beating Carolina Marin in her first match but losing to Sung Ji Hyun in her second encounter.
The World No. 3 was looking to bounce back from that defeat and she made her intentions clear with a strong 6-3 start. With her crosscourt smashes working like a dream, the Indian very much looked in control of the proceedings until the 10th ranked American’s persistence paid off.
Zhang, who has beaten Sindhu twice this year, drew level at 12-12 and then sneaked past her opponent to snatch the opener. The Hunters skipper could never recover from that setback. Looking highly subdued for the most part of the second game, she let the calm Zhang play a steady game as Sindhu’s errors kept piling on.
The Awadhe shuttler grabbed all her opportunities well through her pitch-perfect placement to complete the win for the visitors.
Earlier in the day, former CWG gold medallist Ashwini Ponnappa's exquisite serving and unwavering focus helped her and Mathias Christiansen beat the Hyderabad’s Trump pair of Eom Hye Won and Kim Sa Rang 15-12, 9-15, 15-11.
World No. 35 Mark Caljouw the first Dutch badminton player in the League, was the only saving grace of the day for the Hunters as he put up a show of stern determination and fantastic smashing to beat the Warriors’ 27th ranked Lee Dong Keun 15-10, 7-15, 15-7....