PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win the Korea Open Super Series badminton tournament on Sunday. It is the third Super Series title of her career.
She earned a 21-19, 11-21, 21-18 win over Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a final that lasted 1 hour and 23 minutes. The win means that Sindhu also avenged her World Championships final loss against Okuhara in Glasgow.
The final was expected to be a great clash specially following their epic match in the Glasgow last month. Sindhu and Okuhara had pushed themseleves to the limits in that match which included a memorable 73 shot rally.
Though, it never reached the same heights as their previous encounter, Sunday’s duel in Seoul definately did not disappoint.
Sindhu’s Remarkable Comeback
In the first game, both players began in the familiar fashion earning back-to-back alternate points. Sindhu was the leader early on with Okuhara catching up with her. However, it was the Japanese who went into the break with a lead of 11-9.
It want neck-to-neck till 17-17 when Okuhara rallied to earn a two point lead. Sindhu snatched one back before Okuhara earned the two game points at 20-18.
Sindhu showed nerves of steel to not only save the two match points but she won four consecutive points to take the first game 22-20.
The Indian shuttler used the drift at the SK Handball Stadium to good effect as Okuhara was struggling to trace the trajectory of the shuttle.
Okuhara Was Going Nowhere
In the second game, Okuhara was at her agressive best. She switched on her attcking mode early and took the lead away. Sindhu seemed to have no answer for her trademark drop shots and impeccable net play. Okuhara dominated the second game and took it home with a 10 point advantage.
Sindhu looked tired and struggling to catch up in the second game. It looked like it would tough for her to rally back in the third and final game.
Sindhu Returns With A Bang
However, the Indian had something else on her mind. Sindhu took an early lead and maintained it throughout the game. She overcame the fatigue of long quarterfinal and semifinal matches, to win some long rallies – 56 shots and 29 shots – to take control. Okuhara was always threatening to creep back in the game but Sindhu has enough in her tank to hold her back.
It the end the Indian had the last laugh.