Highlights, Thailand Open 2018 final, badminton result: Nozomi Okuhara beats PV Sindhu to claim maiden title

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Highlights, Thailand Open 2018 final, badminton result: Nozomi Okuhara beats PV Sindhu to claim maiden title
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  • 17:08 (IST)

  • 16:55 (IST)

    Nozomi Okuhara wins title

    This was pretty easy for the diminutive Japanese shuttler as she wears down Sindhu in straight games 21-15, 21-18 to win the women's singles crown. She covered every inch of the court in both the games and didn't allow Sindhu to take her chances from the backcourt. The netplay was just outstanding throughout the match. 

  • 16:49 (IST)

    18-18! And we have our first long rally of the match. A 40 plus-shot rally turns in Sindhu's favour who played a delicate drop shot to unsettle Okuhara 

  • 16:48 (IST)

    17-18! Sindhu is slowly clawing back into the match by cutting off the rallies with her smart forehand drives. 

  • 16:45 (IST)

    17-14! Okuhara scores three points in quick succession. She is definitely so much quick while attacking. And her aggression is out of this world. Explosive shots have unsettled Sindhu.

  • 16:43 (IST)


    Okuhara decides to let the shuttle land just inside the backcourt line. Sindhu will take that happily. We are back level.

  • 16:42 (IST)

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    14-12! Okuhara takes the lead in the second game as Sindhu misjudges the shot coming from the other side of the court. 

  • 16:40 (IST)

    11-11! Those cross court slices from Okuhara is causing a few problems for Sindhu, who is struggling to lunge on the forecourt. 

  • 16:39 (IST)

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    8-9! Okuhara goes for the attack and hits a flat smash. She isn't not letting Sindhu set her rhythm. 

    Make that 9-9! 

  • 16:33 (IST)

    8-7! Okuhara tries to play a delicate push-clear but the shuttle hits the net. Sindhu restores her lead in the second game as we approach the mid-game break. 

  • 16:32 (IST)

    7-6! That's FIVE straight points for Okuhara, who covers the court quickly than usual. Her follow-ups look sharper and hence, the lead. 

  • 16:31 (IST)


    A 36-shot rally turns in Okuhara's favour. The Japanese shuttler is trying her traditional rally game to trouble Sindhu. 

  • 16:29 (IST)

    6-2! The lanky Indian takes control of the pace of the game to open up a four-point lead. Sindhu is quicker from the backcourt and Okuhara is finding it difficult to bring her opponent ahead. 

  • 16:27 (IST)

    5-1! She smacks another one to extend her lead. The crowd is just loving the way Sindhu has attacked right from the word go. 

  • 16:26 (IST)

    2-0! Sindhu stars off with a bang. Two back-to-back flat smashes should boost her confidence. She could also make use of the drift inside the arena. Remember she is on the slower side of the court.

  • 16:24 (IST)

    Okuhara wins first game: 21-15

    The Japanese shuttler dominated the net right from the beginning to put Sindhu under pressure. Sindhu hasn't been able to find angles to hit winners thanks to Okuhara's court coverage. 

  • 16:20 (IST)


    Sindhu hits the shuttle wide yet again. She hasn't looked sharp from the back of the court. 

  • 16:19 (IST)

    15-17! That's the aggression needed from Sindhu. She scored two consecutive points purely on the basis of her attacking strokes. Sindhu needs to kill the rally and rely on her attack. 

  • 16:18 (IST)

    17-13! Sindhu looks out of ideas at the moment as Okuhara plays her natural rally-game to drain the Indian shuttler out. 

  • 16:16 (IST)

    14-11! The recent net exchanges have suggested that Okuhara has been trying to attack from the forecourt. She waits for Sindhu to hit a loose shit as she rushes towards the net to kill the rally. 

  • 16:12 (IST)

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    10-7! Okuhara plays brilliantly on the net to unsettle Sindhu and restore her three-point lead as we approach the mid-game interval of the opening game.

  • 16:08 (IST)

    9-5! Three straight points for Okuhara there. Sindhu applies too much power in her stroke as the shuttle lands wide. 

  • 16:06 (IST)

    5-6! Sindhu cuts over the shuttle and drops the shuttle deep in Okuhara's half to close the gap on the Japanese shuttler's lead. 

  • 16:05 (IST)

    3-6! Okuhara hits a push-clear from the mid-court which lands just wide. Sindhu makes the right decision to leave the shuttle. 

  • 16:03 (IST)

    5-2! A reverse angle to deceive Sindhu and take a three-point lead. Okuhara is making her opponent work harder at the net. 

  • 16:03 (IST)

    4-2! Okuhara extends her lead with a flat smash down Sindhu's right tramline. Okuhara is trying to mix her strokes from the front of the court 

  • 16:02 (IST)

    2-2! And we have our first long rally of the match. A 37-shot rally to begin with. Both Sindhu and Okuhara look confident from the baseline. 

  • 16:00 (IST)

    1-1! Both players look strong and fit as they both look to come back from injury and form issues. 

  • 16:00 (IST)

    Both players are out in the middle and are practising rallies. Is that what's we are going to see throughout the match? It's anyone's game here! 

  • 15:54 (IST)

    PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara:

    Sindhu and Okuhara share a 5-5 head-to-head record, and seem to have decided to alternate victories since the 2017 Singapore Open, in which the Indian had scored a last-gasp 22-20 win over the tiny Japanese. Okuhara had taken revenge by an identical third-game scoreline, in that unforgettable 21-19, 20-22, 22-20 World Championship final in Glasgow between two talented 22-year-olds.

    Thereafter, Sindhu won another tough three-gamer in the Korea Open by a 21-18 third-game score, but then capitulated meekly by an 18-21, 8-21 margin in Okuhara’s home tournament, the Japan Open, in mid-September. Their clash at this year’s All England championships was yet another edge-of-the-seat cliff-hanger, with Sindhu staging a rearguard action and coming through at 20-22, 21-18, 21-18.

  • 13:20 (IST)

    Hello and welcome to Firstpost's live coverage of the title clash between PV Sindhu and Nozomi Okuhara at the Thailand Open in Bangkok. The two shuttlers have produced exhilarating badminton whenever they face each other. Stay tuned for all the live updates. 

India's star shuttler PV Sindhu overcame Indonesian Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in three games on Saturday to set-up the Thailand Open women's singles final against reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.

 Highlights, Thailand Open 2018 final, badminton result: Nozomi Okuhara beats PV Sindhu to claim maiden title

PV Sindhu and Zonomi Okuhara in action. Agencies

World No 29 Gregoria stretched World No 5 Sindhu in the first two games of a semi-final. Second seed Sindhu dug deep to win the first game 23-21 before losing the second game 16-21. Gregoria ran out of gas in the third game, which Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu comfortably won with a 21-9 margin.

Gregoria started strong, taking an 11-7 lead in the first game. After the mid-game break, Sindhu showed urgency in reducing the deficit to one with the Indonesian stranded at 11 points.

However, Gregoria continued her impressive start as she held a four-point advantage at 16-12.

Sending the need to come out all guns blazing, Sindhu stepped up her game and quickly eliminated the deficit at the 16-point mark.

Later, both Sindhu and Gregoria alternated a point each till the 21-point mark after which Sindhu sealed the game in style.

In the second game, Sindhu continued from where she left as opened up a 9-5 lead. But the gutsy Indonesian came up with a seven-point streak to not only pull level at the nine-point mark but also to hold a 12-9 lead.

After Sindhu earned a point, Greogria enjoyed another brilliant phase as she bagged four consecutive points which gave her a 16-10 lead before pocketing the second game 21-16.

Sindhu, however, turned the heat in the third game. Starting strongly, she raced to a 5-1 advantage before Gregoria fought valiantly to reduce the gap to one point with the Indian leading 8-7.

Having put in so much of effort, Gregoria looked tired and lacked energy as Sindhu went on a roll by pocketing 10 successive points.

An 18-7 lead for Sindhu almost sealed the Indian's path to the final as she sealed the third game 21-9.

However, Sindhu faces a tough battle in the final against Okuhara, defeated United States seventh seed Beiwen Zhang 21-17, 21-10 in 34 minutes in the other semi-final.

Prior to Sunday's final, three-time World Championship medallist Sindhu and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Okuhara have fought 10 times in their careers, with both winning five times each.

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Updated Date: Jul 15, 2018 17:25:59 IST