NEW DELHI: World No 8 Saina Nehwal, No 4 Sung Ji Hyun, No 3 Carolina Marin. These were players PV Sindhu beat on way to winning the Yonex Sunrise India Open. The Indian thus for the first time in her career overcame three top-10 players in one tournament. It was a sweet one to win as well, considering her loss in the final last year.
Right from the start of the final, Sindhu maintained a decent lead against Marin. In the two games, there was just one occasion when the Olympic champion got the lead. It was 19-18 Marin in the first game, but Sindhu won three straight points to seal the game.
“The first game was really crucial for both of us. I had an important lead, but then Marin grabbed the lead towards the end of the game. I managed to get the next three points. I had to actually fight hard to get those points. And in a final, which is always a high-pressure game, you want to grab an early lead,” Sindhu said after winning her first Super Series title.
Those to have followed Sindhu's game closely would know that once she grabs an early lead in a game, she holds on to it and does not give easy points to the opponent. That is what happened here on Sunday. After winning a close first game, the World No 5 was ahead in the second, leading 14-9, 18-13 before prevailing 21-16.
“You never know what course the match might take. So it's really important to win each and every point. I try to take advantage if I am in the lead, and that's what every player looks to do,” Sindhu added.
Playing to her strength, the 21-year-old displayed her best defensive game and retrieved Marin's shots with perfection. What made the difference in the second game was that Sindhu read her opponent's forehand well, which are very deceptive and difficult to pick.
Marin, who lost to Sindhu for the first time in the final of any event, made a lot of unforced errors while playing close to the net. That put her on the back foot early in the match. The former World No 1 could not play her natural game and was pushed on the backcourt for a major part of the match. Having said that, this was Marin's first final after her Olympic final appearance.
“Sindhu looked in total control. It didn't turn out to be a good match for me. I made some unforced errors on the net, that proved really costly. But then I'm happy that I managed to reach the final here, as I was out of action for the most part of this year owing to a lower back injury,” Marin said.
It is very rare that two opponents appear for a post-match conference together. But right after Sindhu's win at the India Open, Marin interacted with the media along with her Indian counterpart. Sindhu translated a question for Marin, that the Spaniard had difficulty in understanding. The Indian went ahead and told what her interpretation of the question was.