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Sindhu Brushes Past Okuhara in Finals to Bag Korea Open Title

Sindhu Pockets her Second Super Series Title of 2017 after the Indian Open, and becomes first Indian to win Korea Open

Madhav Agarwal |

Updated:September 17, 2017, 6:13 PM IST
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Sindhu Brushes Past Okuhara in Finals to Bag Korea Open Title
File Image of PV Sindhu (Getty Images)
New Delhi: What makes a player great? Churning out performances consistently, beating top players, winning international titles, maintaining ranking, not letting a player get under your skin, or perhaps a mix of all. If this is the criterion to be a great, then Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is already in that league.

All of 22, Sindhu has shown once again why she is hailed as one of the best players in this era, by winning the Korea Open Super Series, beating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the finals. Sunday's final was a repeat of last month's world championship final where Okuhara emerged the eventual winner.

Right from the start of the match, the Hyderabadi looked positive and did not carry the baggage of the recent finals defeat. Another closely fought contest, both opponents didn't really gave an inch to each other, to thrive, but learning from the last outing, Sindhu did not succumb. She toiled for each and every point that was on offer, which was evident when she was trailing 20-18 in the first game, but went on to win the that game 22-20. Of course, the struggle continued for two more games after that, but that was only an indication that she was not going to let slip this final.

"Sindhu never ceases to amaze me. It's a great win as she becomes the first Indian to pocket the Korea Open. What's great is that she did not lose confidence from her last loss against Okuhara. All the credit to her to come this far and win the title. Speaks volumes about her mental and physical toughness.

"Post her Olympics silver, she has improved in each and every department of the game. She doesn't give away easy points now, and that has brought consistency in her game," Trupti Murgunde, commonwealth bronze medalist and now a coach, told News18 Sports.

This particular match, which was projected as a repeat of the World Championship final, was different in a lot of aspects, the foremost being— that Sindhu had spent more time on the court in this tournament as her last two matches went into three games, which was not the case with Okuhara.

"Despite spending more time on the court than Okuhara, she stretched the Japanese to the fullest. This shows how fit she is. But having said that, every match is different for any player, and Sindhu performed when it mattered."

There was a time in the match when the usually cool-headed Okuhara showed signs of frustration, after committing a few unforced errors on the net. That led badminton expert Gillian Clark to comment that she had never seen the Japanese girl under pressure, but today.

But this did not really come as surprise to Trupti. "Ever since Sindhu walked on to the court, it seemed that she had come with a purpose, When she lost the second game cheaply, she still had the belief to comeback. She held her nerve in the end and emerged victorious. That's the true sign of a champion," she concluded.
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