Sindhu reached Korea Open Superseries final vs Nozomi Okuhara

Adding another win to her name, badminton star PV Sindhu booked a place for herself in the finals of the Korea Open Superseries in Seoul by defeating He Bingjiao of China in the semi-finals today.

Starting strong, Sindhu kept Bingjiao on her backfoot winning the match by 21-10, 17-21, 21-16. Taking an 11-4 lead, Sindhu wrapped up the first game 21-10 in just 16 minutes.

However, the Chinese counterpart stepped up her game and made a comeback in the second winning the game after Sindhu had already established an 11-6 lead. Bingjiao won the game by 17-21.

The third game saw Bingjiao attacking right from the start and a seemingly tired Sindhu giving up points to the former’s drop shots. However, Sindhu’s powerful shots helped her take an 11-9 lead changing the game.

After establishing a 14-14 set, Sindhu took charge again with a 18-14 lead. Bingjiao struggled to comeback, but Sindhu’s power smashes proved to be too much to handle.

Eventually, Bingjiao netted a shot giving the world number 4 player the final win.

With this, Sindhu now moves forward to facing the final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan on Sunday.

Sources – HT, Indian Express

Image Source – Getty Images

Korean Super Series: Sindhu, Sameer make it to the quarter finals

On Thursday badminton stars P V Sindhu and Sameer Verma kept the Indian flag flying high by making it to the quarter-finals of the Korean Super Series with sweeping straight wins.

 

Even though Parupalli Kashyap’s performance waned in the second round after an unlikely defeat in Seoul, Rio silver medalist Sindhu made up for it when she got the better of Thailand’s Nitchaon Jindapol. Sindhu beat her with an impressive 22-20 21-17 and will soon play opposite 2014 World Championships bronze medallist Minatsu Mitani of Japan. Mitani had defeated Saina Nehwal in the 2012 French Open finals to win the title. Last year, World Championships silver medalist Sindu improved her 1-1 record against World No.16 Jindapol, who had beaten hear at the Syed Modi International.

 

On the other hand, Sameer defeated Wong Wing Ki Vincent of Hong Kong scoring 21-19 21-13 within 41 minutes thus setting up a tough fight in the quarters against the famous Son Wan Ho.

Inorder to beat Son Wan Ho, Sindhu and Sameer will have to gain leverage in the game against him. Earlier, Son Wan Ho had ended Indian shuttler Kashyap’s Korea Super Series campaign by defeating him 21-16 17-21 21-16 in an hour and 16 minutes to reach the last-eight stage.

Sources: The Indian Express, The Hindu

Image Source: Your Story

PV Sindhu bags silver after an epic world championship final

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu bagged the silver medal in the World Championships at Glasgow on August 27, 2017. The Rio Olympics silver medalist went down 19-21, 22-20, 20-22 to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in a final that saw both the players bring their physical and mental best on court.

This was Sindhu’s third world championship medal, following two bronze medals in the previous editions. After Saina Nehwal, she is the second Indian woman to win a silver in world championships.

Sindhu and Okuhara had faced each other six times before the final winning three a-piece. Naturally, the final was expected to be an intensely fought battle.

Sindhu raced to a 11-5 lead in the first game before Okuhara turned the game by winning eight straight points. The first game see-sawed before Okuhara went on to win it 21-19.

Both shuttlers brought their best on court in the second game as they fought hard for every point. In the letter part of the game, Sindhu got the better of Okuhara in a 73-shot rally. She went on to win the game 22-20.

The third game saw a spirited battle for every point. Okuhara was at her defensive best as Sindhu kept smashing winners. The match stood even at 19-19 . Sindhu’s return to a Okuhara smash found the net which awarded the Japanese her first championship point. Sindhu drew level in the next rally. It was Okuhara’s deceptive game which was the difference. At her second championship point, she disguised a drop shot as a smash which Sindhu was unable to reach. She sealed the final game and the championship by 22-20.

She expressed her pride in winning the silver for India and was confident of winning more titles in the future.

News Sources: Indian Express, Business Standard

PV Sindhu crashes out of Australian Open Super Series

PV Sindhu crashes out of Australian Open Super Series

Indian badminton player PV Sidhu was knocked out of the semifinal of Australian Open Super Series after she lost her match on Friday, June 23, against the World No.1 Tai-Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. According to The Indian Express, Sindhu, who has never won an Australian Super Series title, went down 21-10, 20-22, 16-21 in the closely fought out quarterfinal.

With the Chinese top seed struggling in the first game, Sindhu was able to breeze to an easy win, prevailing 21-10, but the former picked up and rallied hard in the second game, which see-sawed to a close 22-20, reported News 18.

While Sindhu seemed to have followed a hard solid strategy involving numerous hard smashes in the first game, Tai  upped her own game in the second set, using a number of deceptive drop shots and making the Indian move constantly. Despite that, Sindhu fought hard, reaching game point, but made an error and allowed Tai to come back from that, who proceeded to take the game 22-20, said an Indian Express report.

The third game was more evenly matched. Sindhu shot to a 14-10 lead but Tai made a winning comeback to 15-15, a momentum she carried forward to the match winning 21-16.

This is the second time that the Indian player has made it into the quarterfinals in Australia.

India’s remaining hopes, propped up by former World No.1 Saina Nehwal, were also dashed, after she was defeated in her quarterfinal match against Chinese shuttler Sun Yu in the last quarterfinal match later on Friday, according to India Today.

Sources: The Indian Express, News 18 and India Today

Sania Mirza: The reigning queen

Sania Mirza seems to be at the top of her game lately. She has retained her No.1 position in Women’s Doubles with 9370 points, with former partner, Martina Hingis just five points behind the ace-tennis player. Awardee of the Padma Bhushan, Padma Shri, Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Mirza has become a champion with a string of victories in the recent past. Her latest win was the Toray Pan Pacific Open with partner Barbora Strykova of the Czech Republic on Saturday. Her winning streak in 2016 continues in the Women’s Doubles category, as this is her eighth title this year; the other seven include the Australian Open, Italian Open, Madrid Open among others.

The reigning queen was unable to clinch an Olympic medal with partner Rahan Bopanna and this led to veteran tennis player Leander Paes’ scathingly commenting on the selection of the team to be sent to the Olympics. Both Bopanna and Mirza took to Twitter to allegedly counter the claims made questioning their capability to win medals for the country.

Despite speculation about her career suffering due to her marriage and injuries, Mirza has emerged as a clear sportsman who does not give up on what she believes in. In her autobiography, which she launched at an event in July this year, Ace Against Odds, she talked about her struggles, controversies, injuries and marriage.  Senior journalist, Rajdeep Sardesai was in a bit of a spot where his question irked Mirza yet she retorted in a cool manner, forcing Sardesai to apologise on national television.

Sania Mirza is an inspiration to millions of Indian girls across sports, not only tennis and has often spoken about empowering women to come forward and excel in every field, especially sports which up until recently has been a male-dominated arena in India. PV Sindhu, Dipa Karmakar, Saina Nehwal and Deepa Malik have won accolades for India and put us on the international map with respect to women athletes.

 

President Awards Khel Ratna to Olympic Heroes

President Pranab Mukherjee conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award- India’s highest sporting honor, to Olympic medalists Sakshi Malik and PV Sindhu, alongside high achievers Dipa Karmakar and shooter Jitu Rai at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi earlier today.

 

The Hindu reported that all four Khel Ratnas were applauded with thundering applause for their spectacular display of talent and sportsmanship during the 2016 Rio Olympics. They received a medal, a certificate and a cash prize of 7.5 lakh each.

 

While ace badminton player PV Sindhu, grabbed the historic silver in women’s singles, Sakshi won the first ever Olympic medal (bronze) in women’s wrestling. Finishing fourth in artistic gymnastics with her now famous Produnova vault, Dipa Karmakar certainly won a billion hearts, even though she didn’t win a medal. Shooter Jitu Rai, was honored due to his brilliant precision and consistency over the last two years, including a gold at the Asian and Commonwealth Games and a silver at the World Championship.

 

It was a proud moment, especially for the women, as for the first time in history of the National Sports Awards, four awardees have been given the honor, due to their superb show at the Olympics.

 

Along with the Khel Ratna awardees, 15 sportspersons were awarded the Arjuna Award, while three others were honored with the Major Dhyan Chand award, as per the press release from the Sports Ministry.

Read more at indianexpress.com, thehindu.com

Sindhu wins Silver, creates history

In a historic feat on Friday, August 19, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu won the silver medal in the women’s singles badminton match at the ongoing Rio Olympics, becoming India’s first woman to do so. Her win gives India it’s highest prize so far in badminton, the first being Saina Nehwal’s bronze at the London Olympics, 4 years ago. This is India’s second medal at Rio, after wrestler Sakshi Malik’s bronze. The 21-year old Sindhu, who had raised India’s dismal hopes at Rio by having reached the finals, lost 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in a tumultuous final to Spain’s Carolina Marin, the reigning world champion. She may have settled for silver but she won hearts across the nation as praises poured in for her historic achievement.

It remains a remarkable achievement for the shuttler who had reached the finals after 5 successive wins, the last two having come over the World No.2 and World No. 5 respectively. Sindhu held on and refused to roll over as the combustive Marin tried to dominate over her game with her trademark blistering attack combined with yelps and screams. The last of India’s badminton medal hopes, the hard-hitting Sindhu pounced on whatever openings she saw and kept up the pace of the match, which at one point saw a 52-shot rally over 49 seconds.

The victory means as much to the shuttler as it does to her coach Gopichand, who gestured the last instruction of the historic day, telling Sindhu to bite into the medal, as is tradition, as she stood on the podium, the picture of composure. The scene at the podium was a proud one, with one India, one Spanish and one Japanese leading the medal’s list in a game that China has come to whole-heartedly dominate.