PBL 2018-19: Hyderabad Hunters storm to victory over Chennai Smashers despite PV Sindhu's loss to Ji Hyun Sung
Hyderabad Hunters surged to victory over Chennai Smashers despite PV Sindhu's loss to Sung Ji Hyun, as South Korean pair Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won beat Chris Adcock and Gabby Adcock 14-15, 15-13, 15-14 to ensure a resounding win for Hyderabad.
Hyderabad: Hyderabad Hunters surged to victory over Chennai Smashers despite PV Sindhu's loss to Sung Ji Hyun, as South Korean pair Kim Sa Rang and Eom Hye Won beat Chris Adcock and Gabby Adcock 14-15, 15-13, 15-14 to ensure a resounding win for Hyderabad.
The South Korean pair were pushed till the very end by their counterparts but were ultimately able to get the result that ensured the victory for Hyderabad and helped them build up an early lead over second-placed Mumbai Rockets, whose next fixture is on 27 December against North Eastern Warriors.
In the women's singles match, Ji Hyun Sung got the better of Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Sindhu 15-13, 14-15, 15-7.
Hyderabad, who began their campaign with a sweep against newcomers Pune 7 Aces on the opening day in Mumbai, were five points away from their first defeat on their own trump before Kim Sa Rang and Bodin Isara summoned all their guile and experience to turn the tables on B Sumeeth Reddy and Chin Chung Or. They won 13-15, 15-12, 15-10 and gave their team two crucial points.
Having lost the opening game, Kim and Isara were trailing 4-10 in the second and looked lost against the aggressive approach from the Chennai Smashers men's doubles pair.
But it was the sheer experience of the South Korean-Thai pair that allowed them to not just overcome the opponents but also difficult court conditions with quick flat strokes to first force a decider and then wrap the match.
Lee Hyun Il, the 38-year-old veteran from South Korea, then gave a few lessons to Chong Wei Feng, winning 15-11 15-13.
The battle of the two left-handers saw quite a few rallies played from the back of the court and every time it felt like the Chennai Smashers shuttler was looking to make a comeback, the experienced South Korean turned things around.
The victory set up yet another opportunity for the BWF World Tour Finals champion Sindhu to wrap up the tie by giving her team an unassailable lead but the 23-year-old just could not find the rhythm that saw her beat Carolina Marin on the opening day.
Chennai Smashers icon player Sung Ji Hyun made the most of Sindhu's struggles with the conditions by concentrating on keeping the shuttle in play and force the world number three into making a plethora of unforced errors.
To her credit, Sindhu refused to give up despite chasing the match since she led 8-5 in the opening game. She simply lost momentum after that to lose the game 13-15.
The Indian was trailing for the most part of the second game before taking the lead at 10-9 for the first time and forced the decider after winning the game on the deciding point.
She, however, again struggled to find her rhythm in the third and final game as Sung changed ends leading 8-3 and then wrapped up the match 15-13, 14-15, 15-7 to keep the Smashers alive in the tie with two more matches to play.
It was the first season-ending award in this category for both Axelsen and Tai Tzu Ying — the All England champions of 2020
The former world no. 1 Indian was no match for Lee, the reigning All England champion, going down 19-21 14-21 in 37 minutes to end his campaign
World number 14 Srikanth, who had reached the knockout stage in the 2014 edition of the year-ending event, went down 18-21 7-21 to three-time junior world champion Vitidsarn in a 46-minute men's singles match.