In her second group-stage match at the Dubai Superseries year-ender, PV Sindhu appeared jaded in her straight games loss to World No. 6 Sun Yu of China in a replay of last month's China Open final. The Indian led the proceedings in the second game but lost steam to eventually lose 15-21, 17-21.
Sindhu had defeated the World No. 6 from China last month in the final of the China Open to win her maiden Superseries final. The win had also ensured that Sindhu had made the head-to-head 3-3 between the two.
The match today began with Sun catching a lucky break on the very first point – Yu's return caught the top of the net and changed direction leaving Sindhu stranded. With Sindhu making a wrong call to leave a borderline return, Sun went into a 0-3 lead.
Sindhu caught up with the score at 3-4, but Yu kept going for the marginal returns and was getting them in more often than not and took a 7-3 lead.
At 8-4, Sindhu brought her complete defensive skills to the fore tormenting Sun with her returns before
Despite Sindhu's slick movement, Sun capitalized on the Indian's poor anticipation and returns to take a three-point lead to go 11-8 up at the break.
It was entirely Sindhu's game to lose as the Indian committed errors in her return over and over again to let Sun run away to a 17-9 lead.
Misjudged line call after line call and Sun reached game point at 20-9. Although Sindhu managed to make a late statement by saving six-game points, a failed drop eventually gave Sun the inevitable first game.
In the second set, continuing the momentum from her late surge, Sindhu raced to a 2-5 lead on the back of some aggressive play. Sun, however, continued her tryst with the dice winning the marginal shots mixing wily drops with on-the-line back-court lobs.
Sun managed to draw par at 5-5, but Sindhu won a crucial battle with a backhand flick at the net to take the advantage back and eliciting a sharp shriek from the Hyderabadi.
As coach Gopichand, who had made a rare visit to accompany his disciple, watched on, Sindhu appeared a different player from the first set. The meek returns were gone and sharp smashes and deeply placed lobs saw that Sindhu went into the break with an 8-11 lead. Winning her first line-call challenge of the match did as well help Sindhu.
A disguised drop from the backcourt by Sindhu at 9-11 even elicited a pump of the fist from the normally stoic Gopi. Sun, however, kept up the pressure as Sindhu's physical play in the second set appeared to have drained her a bit. The Chinese sent the Indian scurrying around the court to close the gap to 13-14.
A series of errors from Sindhu saw Sun suddenly go ahead 17-15 and the Chinese reached match point at 20-17 as Sindhu's errors continued. The World No.6 finished proceedings with an emphatic forecourt smash to exact revenge for her loss at the China Open last month.
Manjeet Chillar or Sandeep Narwal? Which all-rounder will have more points?
Presenting Nostragamus, the first ever prediction game that covers the Pro Kabaddi league. Play the PKL challenge and win cash prizes daily!!
Download the app for FREE and get Rs.20 joining BONUS. Join 30,000 other users who win cash by playing NostraGamus. Click here to download the app for FREE on android!