Korean Sung Ji Hyun edged out Japan’s Sayaka Sato in the women’s singles finals to clinch the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold title at the Babu Banarasi Das Indoor stadium in Lucknow on Sunday.
Second seed Hyun defeated Japan’s Sayaka Sato 12-21 21-18 21-18 in a match that lasted an hour and 25 minutes in Lucknow to start the season on a resounding note.
Earlier, second seeds Praveen Jordan and Debby Susanto of Indonesia survived a scare from Thailand pair of Puavaranukroh Dechapol and Sapsiree Taerattanachai to notch up a 23-25 21-9 21-16 win in the mixed doubles summit clash.
In women’s doubles, Korean second seeds Jung Kyung Eun and Shin Seung Chan thrashed third seeds Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek of The Netherlands 21-15 21-13 to annex the title.
The women’s singles match was a close contest as Hyun and Sato engaged in energy-sapping rallies.
In the opening game, Sato zoomed to a 4-0 lead with Hyun making unforced errors.
The Japanese never looked back after that as she moved from strength to strength to finally pocket the first game with a low net lift that almost kissed the net.
In the second game, Hyun recovered well to make it 10-6 but Sato came back to lead 11-10 at the break.
The Korean clawed back her lead slowly and set comfortably at 18-14 before moving into the game point at 20-16 when Sato failed to reach for a forecourt return and finally roared back in contest when she left Sato stranded by pushing the shuttle back.
In the decider, Hyun again opened up an 11-5 lead when Sato hit wide.
As the match progressed Sato looked completely drained but she still huffed and puffed her way to draw parity at 17-17.
However, Hyun moved into the match point at 20-18 and shut the door on the Japanese when she found the net.
While Hyun dropped to her knee, Sato fell on the ground in despair.