Displaying tremendous fighting qualities and the maturity of an experienced campaigner, PV Sindhu marched into the final of the China Open Super Series Premier in Fuzhou on Saturday.
The Olympic silver medallist, who got past a fighting, higher-ranked Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 11-21, 23-21, 21-19 in a nerve-rattling semi-final, is just a step away from winning her first Super Series title. Incidentally, this is Sindhu’s second Super Series final. The only other time she made a Super Series final was at the Denmark Open Premier in 2015.Exhibiting superior retrieving capabilities, a quality which she lacked in the past, and working tirelessly to wear out her opponent with long rallies, Sindhu looked a different player. With the shuttle moving slowly between the courts, Sindhu restrained herself from playing her trademark smashes. As both players concentrated on working the shuttle near the net, the art of dribbling came to the fore.
Delighted with the quality of the match and the manner in which his ward responded, Pullela Gopichand said, “Both players played high quality match. It was good to see how Sindhu reacted in a challenging situation. The manner in which she kept her nerve when she was down 17-20 in the second was quite impressive.”Relieved after playing one of the toughest matches of her career, Sindhu said, “It was a tough match and there were long rallies as both of us were keen on winning points. And when she was leading 20-17, I still played thinking the match wasn’t over and I won. In the third game we fought for each point and even though I was leading I didn’t take it easy.”
Sindhu lost the first game even before she had settled down. Sung opened with a 5-1 lead and powered ahead, widening the margin and clinching the first game at 21-11 in just 15 minutes. Once Sindhu got her range in the second game, the match which looked like an easy issue for Sung, soon turned into a energy-sapping encounter.