HARPAL SINGH BEDI / NEW DELHI
Playing with a clinical precision P V Sindhu today overpowered Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain 21-19 21-16 to win her maiden India Open Super Series title, here today sending the packed stadium into raptures..
With this win, Sindhu not only avenged her Rio Olympics finals loss to Marin but also won her second superseries title of her career. She now has become the only Indian after Saina Nehwal to have won this title.
The 21-year old Indian now has 4-5 record against Marin. Sindhu had a plan for Marin and the full throttled support from big crowd helped her execute that in 46 minutes.
This is also Sindhu’s second title of the season after her win at the Syed Modi Grand Prix in Lucknow early this year.
Sindhu was off to a good start taking a crucial 5-1 lead in the first game. Marin fought back hard but Sindhu (11-9) managed to hold her lead at the mid break.
The Olympic champion came back strongly after the change of ends to finally take a one-point lead at 18-17 but Sindhu displayed steely nerves as she sealed the first game 21-19 in her favour.
The Indian surged to a 4-0 lead in the second game .She held her nerves as she raced to 15-10 lead and finally won the second game 21-16 to clinch the title.
“It was a very intense first game and it was crucial that I won it. It was a close encounter and tied at 19-19, any of us could have won it from here. We were not in the mood to give it away and played long rallies and eventually I came out on top,” She said after the match.
Crediting chief national coach Pullela Gopichand for her win, Sindhu said, “Initially in other matches he sat in the crowd and used to cheer for me. But today he was by my side and it gave me a lot of confidence.”
Marin though upset after losing the finals was gracious to praise Sindhu “It was after a long time that I have reached a final. It has been long time that I had come so far in any tournament in a long time. It did not turn out to be a good match for me but I am happy that I have reached the finals,” Marin said after the match.
“On-court we might be rivals but off-court we are very good friends and I am happy for her that she won as she was the better player on the day,” the Spaniard added.
Earlier in the day, Viktor Axelsen lived up to his top billing in the tournament as he beat Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-10 to lift his maiden title in India.
In the men’s doubles clash, top seeded Marcus Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya of Indonesia beat their compatriots Ricky Karandasuwardi and Angga Pratama 21-11, 21-15 to win the title.
In the women’s doubles, it was an all-Japan clash with Shiho Tanaka and Koharu Yonemoto getting better of Naoko Fukuman and Kurumi Yonao 16-21, 21-19, 21-10.
The mixed doubles title went to Lu Kai and Huang Yaqiong of China after the beat their compatriots Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen 22-24, 21-14, 21-17.