PV Sindhu against Carolina Marin is fast becoming one of the biggest badminton rivalries in the women’s singles event. Having faced each other nine times in the past, the balance tilts slightly in the favour of the Spaniard, who has won five ties. But the Hyderabadi will have an opportunity to level that head-to-head tally when she faces off against Marin in the final of the India Open Super Series on Sunday. They made it to the final in contrasting fashion, Sindhu labouring to beat Sung Ji Yun 21-18, 18-21, 21-14 while Marin breezed past fourth seeded Akane Yamaguchi 21-16, 21-14.
But those stats and facts will matter for little when the duo takes the court at New Delhi’s Siri Fort Sports Complex on Sunday.
Bet before that, here’s a look at the five best clashes between the two:
2016 Rio Olympics: Marin wins 19-21, 21-12, 21-15
Only one Indian had ever won a gold medal at the Olympics. Sindhu was standing on the cusp of joining that extremely short list. But for that, she had to get past Marin. Despite playing in her maiden Olympic tournament, Sindhu had been solid, dropping just one game en route the final. She had brushed aside eighth-seeded Tai Tzu Ying, second seed Wang Yihan and sixth seed Nozomi Okuhara. In the final, Sindhu started brightly, winning the first game 21-19. However, the Spaniard roared back into the match to clinch the next two games to win the gold medal.
2014 World Championships: Marin wins 21-17, 21-15
This tournament was memorable for Sindhu as she won her second World Championships bronze medal. However, Sindhu would have been hoping for a brighter outcome, having been in imperious form in the tournament before she ran into Marin in the semi-final.
On that day in Copenhagen, form deserted the Indian as Carolina walked away with a 21-17, 21-15 victory. The Spaniard went on to win the tournament, triumphing 21-8, 21-14 over China's Li Xuerui in the final.
2016 Dubai World Super Series Finals: Sindhu wins 21-17, 21-13
Just months after enduring heartbreak in the final of the Olympics, Sindhu avenged her defeat with a straight-game win over Marin in a group match of the season-ending tournament. Marin, who was not a 100 percent in the tournament crashed out after losing all of her group matches, while Sindhu fell to Sung Ji Hyun in the semi-final.
Sindhu’s win, which came in 46 minutes, helped her take the duo’s head-to-head record close to parity as victory meant Sindhu trailed the Spaniard 3-5 in matches played between them.
2015 Denmark Open Super Series: Sindhu wins 21-15, 18-21, 21-17
Ahead of their Denmark Open clash, Marin had beaten Sindhu thrice in five encounters — all three of those wins coming in their last three clashes. So the Spaniard went into the match with a distinct mental advantage.
However, Sindhu had been in great form in the tournament until that day, not even dropping a game despite tough fixtures against Tai Tzu Ying and Wang Yihan. And it showed as the Indian dismantled Marin in three gruelling games. However, the tournament ended in disappointment for her as she lost 19-21, 12-21 to Li Xuerui in the final.
Hong Kong Super Series 2015: Marin wins 21-17, 21-9
This was one of those rare encounters between the duo which was lop-sided. Sindhu and Marin met in the opening match of the tournament where surprisingly the Indian lost the second game 21-9 to be sent packing from the tournament. Marin, on the other hand, went all the way, beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-17, 18-21, 22-20 to claim the title.
Published Date: Apr 02, 2017 01:50 pm | Updated Date: Apr 02, 2017 01:51 pm