GR Sports Desk | New Delhi
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu Sunday created history by clinching her maiden BWF World Tour Championships title in Guangzhou, breaking her finals jinx. This was also her first gold of the year 2018 and 14th career title. Sindhu defeated her opponent Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight games 21-19, 21-17 in a mounting clash.
This is also India’s first gold of the year and their first-of-its-kind title at BWF World Tour Championships.
Earlier, Sindhu played four finals and had finished second best in the finals of Commonwealth Games, India Open, Thailand Open, Asian Games and World Championships. Notwithstanding, her victory against Okuhara in the finals of women’s singles meant she finished the year on a positive note.
It was Sindhu’s patience and trademark smashes that left Okuhara troubling. The World No. 7 was looking hapless against a composed Sindhu. Apart from her famous smashes, Sindhu was also outstanding at rallies close to the net. The Hyderabad based shuttler went for the kill whenever she got the lift. At the same time, Okuhara made several unforced errors which allowed Sindhu to run away with a straight games victory. With this win, Sindhu claimed a 7-6 head-to-head lead over the Japanese.
The 2016 Olympics Games silver medalist had began her campaign on a high note. The World No. 3 Sindhu notched up a thrilling victory over world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in her women’s singles Group-A match. In the semifinals, a sublime Sindhu got better of former World Champions Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. Her dominating performance at the season ender would motivate her to put up a great show at the Premier Badminton League 2018-19. The Hyderabad Hunters player will face her most renowned rival Carolina Marin of Spain, who will play for Pune 7 Aces, in the tournament beginner.
In the men’s singles semifinals, Sameer Verma went down to Shai Yuqi of China 21-12, 20-22, 17-21.