PBL: PV Sindhu beats Saina Nehwal
Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu beat Saina Nehwal 11-7, 11-8 as Chennai Smashers entered the final of the Premier Badminton League with a 4-1 win over Awadhe Warriors on Friday. It was Sindhu\'s first win over Saina in a tournament.
Rio Olympics silver medallist P V Sindhu beat Saina Nehwal 11-7, 11-8 as Chennai Smashers entered the final of the Premier Badminton League with a 4-1 win over Awadhe Warriors on Friday. It was Sindhu's first win over Saina in a tournament.
Awadhe then needed to win their men's doubles 'trump' match but V Shem Goh and Markis Kido went down 3-11, 10-12 to Chennai's Chris Adcock and Mads Pieler Kolding in the final match.
Earlier, Awadhe had grabbed an early lead with the world No. 10 Thai pair of Savitree Amitrapal and Bodin Isara defeating Chris Adcock and Gabrielle Adcock, the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist pair, 9-11, 11-8, 11-5 in the opening match.
Parupalli Kashyap then brought Chennai back into the contest by beating W Ki Vincent Wong 11-4, 11-6 to make it 1-1.
In the second men's singles, Rio Olympics quarter-finalist Kidambi Srikanth beat 2014 World Championship bronze medallist Tommy Sugiarto 14-12, 11-7 win to put Awadhe 2-1 ahead.
This was followed by the Sindhu versus Sindhu match. At the start, Sindhu tried to push Saina to the back of the court and then catch her at the net. Her ploy worked initially as she led 4-2. But Sindhu's errors allowed Saina to make it 5-5 and the latter went into the break with a 6-5 lead. After the breather, Sindhu soon levelled the score and then went 8-7 ahead. She won the opening game after Saina hit wide.
In the second game, Sindhu went into the break with a 6-3 lead after earning a point with a cross-court slice. Sindhu moved ahead 9-5 with deceptive net play after Saina committed an error. Saina once again narrowed the lead to 8-9 but Sindhu produced a cross-court smash before a superb drop from the back of the court sealed the issue for her.
"It was a tough match," Saina said later. "I could not play my game. I was not moving well. I tried everything but she [Sindhu] played well today."
Sindhu said: "I knew it would be an exciting match and it went on well for me. There were rallies but I played a good game."
Sung Ji Hyun and H S Prannoy guided Mumbai Rockets to a 3- (-1) win over Hyderabad Hunters to set up a summit clash with Chennai Smashers in the PBL.
Starting the tie, it was the women's singles clash between Carolina Marin of Hunters and Sung Ji Hyun of Mumbai Rockets, which was a trump match for the Hunters. Marin made a confident start and pocketed the opening game 11-6 but Sung Ji came from behind to dominate her Marin, winning the second game 11-6. In the decider, Sung Ji prevailed over Marin 11-5 to make it 1 (-1) in favour of Rockets.
In the second match, Mumbai's H S Prannoy -- playing in the trump match for his team -- defeated Sameer Verma 11-8 15-13, extending his winning streak to six in the league.
He won the first game 11-8 to take the upper hand in the match. In the second game, Sameer tried to put up a strong fight but Prannoy saved three game points and held on to his nerve to win the game 15-13 to seal the match -- and attain an unassailable lead for the team.