NEW DELHI: If there was any doubt who the undisputed Indian queen of badminton is, PV Sindhu put that to rest by beating Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the women's singles final to win her maiden India Open super Series title on Sunday.
Sindhu avenges Rio Olympic by beating Carolina Marin to win maiden India Open Super Series title
Sindhu, who won the TOISA badminton player of the year as well as overall player of the year awards, avenged her Olympic final defeat to Marin in an imperious fashion with a straight game 21-19, 21-16 win at a packed Siri Fort sports Complex. In a pulsating contest, which was a repeat of the Rio Olympic final where the Spaniard prevailed in three games, Sindhu put up an all-round show in front of the home fans.
In front of a partisan home crowd at the Sirifort Sports Complex, the third seeded Indian dominated the match from the start to win the summit clash in 46 minutes.
The win also narrowed down Sindhu's head-to-head record against the Spaniard to 4-5. Sindhu had last defeated Marin in the BWF Super Series in Dubai last year. Earlier, Viktor Axelsen of Denmark clinched the men's singles title beating Chinese Taipei's Tien Chen Chou in straight games
Sindhu had established her dominance early in the contest with a drop shot and a smash giving her a 6-1 lead before Marin began gaining on her.
The Rio Olympic gold medallist began attacking Sindhu and successfully cut down the lead to manageable level. A return that went long brought her on the doorstep of levelling it but then Sindhu engaged her in a rally to again race ahead at 9-7.
fter the first break, Sindhu was forced to defend and ended up committing errors which eventually allowed her opponent to draw level at 16-all. But Sindhu was unrelenting, a well-directed smash that left Marin smiling again gave her a slim lead.
A powerful return allowed the two-time world champion to take the lead and then she was guilty of two mistakes that gave Sindhu the game 21-19.
Sindhu became even more aggressive after the change of ends as she sprinted to a lead of 4-0 in no time. This game would see Sindhu proving too hot to handle for her 23-year-old long-time rival after the early close exchanges. The Indian replied to her every move - if engaged in netplay, she would pounce if there was even a whiff of an opportunity.
If there were long rallies, she would produce pinpointed smash. With each point, Sindhu's confidence grew and Marin's column of mistakes began swelling. Weak returns, unforced errors followed.
Egged by the home crowd, Sindhu continued landing the killer blows. Soon, she was leading 20-15 and was just a point away from winning her second ever Super Series title. Marin opted for change of shuttle, it didn't work. She committed one last error, as a lift crashed on the net, giving Sindhu the match point and the title.
Sunday was the 10th time the two clashed at an international event and the two are tied at 5-5 on head-to-head clashes.
Earlier, in a repeat of the India Open 2015 final, in an all-Indonesian final, Marcus Fernaldi Gideon/Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo beat Ricky Karanda Suwardi/ Angga Pratama 21-11, 21-15 to win men's doubles title.