HYDERABAD: Although PV Sindhu lost the $400,000 Hong Kong Open Superseries final against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying on Sunday, she proved why she is in the world’s top-three. Her 18-21, 18-21 loss to the World No 1 comes just weeks after she lost the senior nationals final against Saina Nehwal in a closely-fought contest in Nagpur. She had not looked in prime form in that competition with youngsters like Ruthvika Shivani giving her tough competition.
In the two Superseries tournaments – China and Hong Kong – that Indians have played post the nationals, she is the only one to have reached at least the quarterfinals. In China, she was stunned 11-21, 10-21 by Gao Fangjie.
But she made a superb comeback in Hong Kong by outwitting the likes of World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the semifinals.
Sunday’s final was a repeat from last year’s summit clash and it was Ying again who emerged victorious against Sindhu, who has won the India Open and the Korea Open Superseries titles this year.
Speaking to Express from Hong Kong after the 44-minute battle with Ying, World No 3 Sindhu spoke about her preparations for the tournament, “The match was quite good. Preparation-wise, everything went well throughout the tournament.” The face-off belonged to Ying from the start. Sindhu tried to mitigate the damage, but it was Ying who prevailed. “I feel it was anybody’s game. We were 18-all in the first set, which means anyone could have come on top,” Sindhu said.
Asked about the difference between last year’s and Sunday’s final, the Pullela Gopichand protégé opined, “There are a lot of differences in women’s singles from last year. There are a lot more women who are emerging. The one who plays better on a given day and gives her best is the winner. That is what I feel.”
Her record against Ying is heavily bent in favour of the latter. In 11 encounters, Ying has doused Sindhu’s challenge eight times. Veteran coach SM Arif feels the Indian needs to do three things to match Ying’s level. “She (Ying) is No 1 in the rankings not for nothing. I think she is the best player in the world right now.
If Sindhu wants to defeat her, she has to build stronger stamina, study Ying’s strokes very well, and not get caught in her wide range of deceptive shots,” the Dronacharya awardee said. Otherwise, Arif was impressed by Sindhu’s performance on the night.
“She played some tremendous badminton in this tournament, where she defeated so many quality players. She is technically very sound.”