PV Sindhu’s brilliant victory went in vain as Delhi Dashers grabbed a 4-3 win over defending champions Hyderabad Hunters in the Premier Badminton League Season 4 in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The loss, however, did not make any difference for the Hunters, who continue to enjoy the top position in the table standings, with 24 points. As for Delhi, this was their first victory in six matches in what has been a forgettable season.
Six-time Grand Slam champion Sania Mirza was at the stadium to cheer for Sindhu and the tennis star wasn’t disappointed. World No 32 Evgeniya Kosetskaya was no match for the BWF World Tour Finals winner. With the added responsibility of being the Hyderabad Trump player, the World No 3 was in no mood to relent and effortlessly triumphed 15-11, 15-9.
In the first game, the Russian was able to keep it competitive till 7-7 after which Sindhu wrested away control of the proceedings. Sindhu’s pinpoint smashes helped her jump to 10-7 in the second game and she never allowed her opponent to come closer before wrapping up the match.
Earlier, HS Prannoy, who has struggled with a knee injury and breathing issues this season, made a winning return as he edged Hyderabad’s Rahul Yadav Chittaboina 15-10, 9-15, 15-12. Prannoy’s blistering backhands were on song right from the word go and he opened up a 10-6 lead in the first game in no time.
However, with a few errors creeping into his game, Prannoy fell behind 4-8 in the second game. The lower-ranked Chittaboina seized this opportunity to set up a decider, where Prannoy found his form again. With his smashes finding their mark, the Delhi shuttler raced ahead to 7-3 before closing out the match.
Delhi selected their men’s doubles pair of Chai Biao and Maneepong Jongjit as their Trump for the day. Against the Hunters duo of Bodin Isara and Arun George, the pair looked slightly off-colour and conceded the first game 8-15.
However, that was a wake-up call for the Trump pair. They rebounded strongly in the second and the third games to grab an 8-15, 15-8, 15-8 victory. Tommy Sugiarto and Mark Caljouw had never met on the international circuit before. But there was no surprise in their first-ever meeting as World No. 9 Sugiarto made short work of the Hyderabad player 15-6, 15-11.