At 10-20, Saina wrongly judged Okuhara’s shot and handed the silver medal to her. Kidambi Srikanth’s 13-match unbeaten streak was snapped by South Korea’s Son Wan Ho at the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow when the Indian shuttler went down 14-21, 18-21 in a match lasting 48 minutes.
Asked about her chances ahead of the final, Sindhu had admitted “not going to be an easy match” but that she would give her best.
With this, India’s hopes of clinching their maiden medal in the men’s category at the World Championships also ended. But now she will have to settle for the bronze medal. But in the second game, Srikanth gave some fight before surrendering. The Chinese clawed her way back and reduced the gap to one point. She first clawed back to 14-14 when Sindhu faltered with her return serve before grabbing the lead. In the next point, Okuhara produced a consummate finish with deception on a push down the line, on the forehand side to take the game to 14-7 before taking a ten-point lead at 17-7. Nehwal dominated the first game but the Japanese scripted a remarkable comeback to win the next two games in 73 minutes.
A net error stopped Okuhara’s run as Sindhu eventually held a 11-8 lead at the interval when her rival again went wide. The first game was tight until it was 16-16, and the second was not a contest from 10-9 up, as Lin powered away. But the gritty Sindhu bounced back to win four crucial points and led 16-13. A little rest after her draining campaign should keep her in good stead for the Superseries tournaments to come later this year. Then came a quick cross-court drop shot which Sindhu had no answer, allowing the Japanese to celebrate her win.
Both the shuttlers played their heart out in the middle and exhibited some extraordinary skills of the game on the court.
In the past few years, the half smash has become an integral part of every player’s armoury but to retrieve them also put a lot of pressure on the lower part of the body and the shoulder socket. The rallies were extremely big and tiring as it made both the players physically drained out in the decider.
What time does the live coverage of PV Sindhu’s final start? The pair never led in the first game and was only briefly up in the second.