PV Sindhu became the first Indian badminton player to lift the title in Korea after she beat Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles final at Korea Open Superseries in Seoul on Sunday. This was her third Super Series title and second this year. In a rematch of the World Championships final which was won by Okuhara, Sindhu avenged her loss from Glasgow and won the Korea Open Superseries final 22-20 11-21 21-18 and claimed the title.
Sindhu and Okuhara played a neck-to-neck first game before the Japanese dominated the second game. Sindhu and Okuhara were once again playing a tense third game before Sindhu began edging ahead. Okuhara tried making a comeback late in the third game but Sindhu held fort.
The Indian defended Okuhara’s smashes and came up with her own powerful shots to keep a slender lead. Okuhara saved one match point before surrendering the game 21-18 and eventually the title.
Ajay Jayaram was the first Indian to reach the final of Korea Open in 2015 and Sindhu became the second one but went one step ahead of Jayaram by winning the title. Sindhu began the match with net play and Okuhara looked a little uncomfortable. The Indian took a small lead but as the game progressed, Okuhara was looking more confident. At the break in first game, Okuhara led 11-9 after a strong net game.
Sindhu, who had relied on down the line smashes and then net drop shots, changed it to long cross-court shots. She was trailing afte the break but quickly levelled up things. It was a point-by-point tussle between the two as it went neck-to-neck till 17-17. Sindhu then faultered by committed unforced errors and Okuhara had two game points when a shot went wide. The Japanese could hav claimed the game but Sindhu, with some luck, saved both match points before taking the game 22-20.
The match took a different shape in the second game. Okuhara stepped up her net game by returning Sindhu’s drop shots. Her returns were quicker from the net which disturbed Sindhu’s plans. Okuhara’s stunning net play forced the players to not get involved in long rallies and Sindhu took time to adjust to this change. Okuhara led 11-6 at the break. But, it was no different story as Sindhu kept falling behind. She looked tired as Okuhara continued to make her cover every part of the court. The number of unforced errors increased and Okuhara ran away woth the game.