New Delhi: P.V. Sindhu personified grit and power, as she came up with a heartening show to defeat reigning Olympic badminton champion Carolina Marin 21-19, 21-16 in the final of the $325,000 India Open Superseries at Siri Fort Sports Complex grounds here on Sunday evening.
A lot was on Sindhu’s mind as she set up a mouth-watering clash with Spain’s Marin, the latter having conquered the Indian in the gold medal match at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 21-year-old Sindhu, who has grown in strength and stature gradually, had avenged her Olympic final loss getting the better of Marin in the Dubai Superseries a few months back, but Sunday was different.
Playing in front of home crowd and a maiden India Open title at stake, Sindhu knew she would have to come up with a superlative show. And when she took the courts in front of screaming fans, she oozed confidence, skill and power.
The Olympic silver medallist opened up early leads in both the games and even though Marin almost caught up with the home star on several occasions, Sindhu was notches above on the day.
The Hyderabadi lass was quick on her feet, showed better reflexes and backed by a game of powerful smashes, overpowered her fancied opponent to lift her maiden India Open crown. The win also helped her narrow her head-to-head record with Marin to 4-5.
In the men’s singles, Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen defeated Tien Chen Chou of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-10 in 36 minutes to claim his maiden India Open title. In the women’s singles, Marin was guilty of committing plenty of unforced errors with Sindhu’s deft drops and powerful cross-court smashes holding her in good stead.
In the opening game, Sindhu took to a 6-1 lead before Marin found her way back. The shuttlers fought hard and Sindhu went into the break with a 11-9 lead. Locked 16-16 and Marin giving no space to the home girl, the battle intensified and the Spaniard went ahead for the first time at 19-18.