India Open: Sindhu trips on match-point

  • India Open: Sindhu trips on match-point

India Open: Sindhu trips on match-point

It was Sindhu's fourth loss in a major final in the 2017-2018, which includes defeats at World Championship, Hong Kong Open and Dubai Super Series Final past year. The Indian was having difficulty dealing with her opponent's down-the-line smash, while Sindhu was doing her best trying to force the Liaoning native to hit shots from round her head.

Beiwen looked sharper, especially on her defence, as she opened up a 8-5 lead before the Indian took a 9-8 lead.

Sindhu continued the momentum shift to level the decider 11-11 after the break. But 69 minutes later, the familiar script returned to haunt her.

While Polii and Rahayu also managed to clear the final hurdle in straight games, the third seeds needed nearly 20 minutes more to pack off second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai 21-18, 21-15. But a charged up Sindhu was in no mood to let up, clinching the game and match to set herself up for her second straight Indian Open title.

"I had nothing to lose and pressure was on Sindhu". Jongkolphan-Rawinda defeated Chinese Du Yue and Li Yinhui 21-19, 21-17 in 56 minutes, while Greysia-Apriyani moved past Danish top seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl Aand Christinna Pedersen 21-14, 19-21, 21-18 in an hour and 21 minutes.

A first big title for the American meanwhile, Sindhu gets her hand on yet another Silver.

Beiwen held a 9-4 lead but Sindhu rose to the challenge, not allowing her opponent to have her way. With both players visibly exhausted, the serves changed hand regularly and with it the points too, 15-15.

But to the crowd's agony, the local favourite hit it on the net to make it 20-20.

Gideon-Sukamuljo had won at the Indonesia Masters last week. Sindhu, though, would not go away and three consecutive points took her to the brink of a second successive title at home.

The men's singles contest, however, was spared the unending moments of suspense with fourth-seeded Chinese Shi Yuqi taming Chou Tien Chen of Chinese Taipei 21-18, 21-14. It may be recalled that 15-year-old Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy had stretched the eventual champion to three games before bowing out 19-21, 22-20, 12-21 in the first round.

However, a mistake with a net dribble followed by a lift that went wide two points later saw Sindhu once again concede the title. The combination, which came together only past year, got the better of Praveen Jordan and Melati Oktavianti 21-14, 21-15 for their first major title having failed in the final in their earlier two attempts.