India's star shuttler PV Sindhu overcame reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the women's singles final of the Korea Open Superseries on Sunday.
Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu won in an hour and 24 minutes at the SK Handball Stadium to clinch her third Superseries title of her career.
Okuhara had conquered the Hyderabad-born shutter in the World Championships final in August in Glasgow.
After the 27 August win, the Rio Olympic bronze medallist Okuhara, 22, had taken a 4-3 lead in career meetings against 22-year-old Sindhu. But in this South Korean capital, Sindhu was presented a chance to avenge the Glasgow loss — and the Indian came out on top.
Sindhu started the match brightly, holding a 5-2 lead early in the first game. Okuhara fought back and equalised at the seven-point mark, firing some delectable drop shots. Sindhu, however, held a two-point lead at the mid-game break.
Later, Okuhara grabbed four consecutive points to take a 13-12 lead. But Sindhu ended the momentum with a crisp winner. She then matched Okuhara shot for shot and didn't allow the Japanese to dictate the pace of the game. Even though Okuhara tried to play long rallies, Sindhu was smart enough to not give her much space to go for aggressive strokes.
Sindhu held a 19-17 lead, which later became 20-18. Okuhara managed to save two game points as she equalised at 20-all. Sindhu then stamped her authority with two shots which Okuhara failed to defend as the Indian clinched the first game 22-20. In the second game, Okuhara stepped up her game and went for the attack straight away. She opened up a handsome five-point lead at 11-6.
In the decider, Sindhu started on a strong note, holding an 8-4 lead early. She mixed aggressive smashes with cunning net-game which rattled the Japanese, who was forced to chase throughout the match.
A six-point advantage for Sindhu at the mid-game break meant Okuhara was left with a mountain to climb. Okuhara tried her best but Sindhu continued to pick points to keep the Japanese shuttler at bay.
An 18-14 lead seemed to be healthy for Sindhu but a feisty Okuhara didn't allow the Indian to roll to the title. Okuhara then managed to save two match points. But eventually, Sindhu remained calm and composed to seal a 21-18 win to bag the title.
Twitter went ga-ga over the 22-year-old's classic win in a thrilling women's singles final. Amitabh Bachchan termed Sindhu's win as a 'sweet revenge', while Virender Sehwag called the World No 4 a 'legend at 22'. Here's how Twitterati reacted to Sindhu's maiden title in Korea.
T 2550 - YEEEEEAAAHHHHHH !! SHE HAS DONE IT !! PV SINDHU WINS THE SUPER SERIES, IN KOREA .. 1ST INDIAN TO DO SO .. SWEET REVENGE !! 🇮🇳🇮🇳🌹🙏 pic.twitter.com/032W8vxdJX
— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) September 17, 2017
She Believed She Could,So She Did. Congrats @Pvsindhu1 First Indian To Win #KoreaOpen India Is Proud Of You 👊#PVSindhu #Okuhara pic.twitter.com/VCMZOqP6vw — Vijender Singh (@boxervijender) September 17, 2017
At 22 Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is a legend. What a player ! Congratulations on this stunning finals win.Most breathtaking badminton @Pvsindhu1 pic.twitter.com/qIrwaMbk37 — Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) September 17, 2017
You tried, you failed, you believed & in the end you are an inspiration for the nation! A victory like none other. Congrats, @Pvsindhu1! 🏸 pic.twitter.com/OA2j0FnDwa — sachin tendulkar (@sachin_rt) September 17, 2017
The first Indian to win the Korean Open. What a champion is @Pvsindhu1 and what a rivalry this #sindhuvsokuhara is turning out to be. pic.twitter.com/o541uEDyPt — Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) September 17, 2017
With inputs from IANS
Published Date: Sep 17, 2017 15:29 PM | Updated Date: Sep 17, 2017 15:36 PM