Hyderabad Hunters

Sindhu, Sai Praneeth Storm in SFs at World Championships

By: Editor
Date: 23 Aug, 2019
Image Courtesy: Hyderabad Hunters

In the span of two hours, two of India’s finest badminton players produced two sensational performances to assure India of at least two bronze medals at the ongoing Total BWF World Championships in Basel, Switzerland. 

PV Sindhu came back from the brink to win against current world number one Tai Tzu Zing of Chinese Taipei, in what will be a comeback for the ages. Having lost the opening game in a feeble manner, Sindhu started the second game far more competitively. But Tai Tzu wasn’t letting her opponent run away with it, and ensured she stayed within touching distance at all times. Tied at 20-20 the game and match for Tai’s taking and she had a match point at 20-21, but if there’s one player you don’t count out all too easily, then that’s PV Sindhu. She saved the match point and then converted the first game point opportunity she had for herself to force a decider. 

In the final game, Tai Tzu made a more confident start to lead 8-3 in the initial exchanges and consolidated the same to a slender 11-9 advantage by the mid-game interval. This is where Sindhu made her move to first take a lead at 12-13 and then she looked good to close the game at 17-19. The Chinese champion, however, had other ideas as she closed down the gap to 19-apiece.

Two points to play. Two games tied. This was the clash of the titans. Sindhu kept her cool, reeled off the two points needed. And ensured, she will have a medal from the World Championships for the third straight year now.

Meanwhile, B Sai Praneeth rewrote the record books as he becomes only the 2nd Indian men’s singles player after Mr.Prakash Padukone in 1983 to win a World Championship medal. He really had a challenge up his sleeve with Jonatan Christ, his opponent, in red hot form all through this year. However, Sai himself has been a revelation at the Championships, having made his way to the QFs without having dropped a game all week.

In the opening game, the clean sheet by Sai Praneeth was to be put under the radar, as both players jostled for the early lead. Sai Praneeth managed to edge at 9-5, but Christie then came back to tie the score at 10-all. Both players went neck-and-neck for the remainder of the game, tied at 19-19, 20-20, 22-22, before Sai managed to hold his nerve and keep his record of not dropping a game at the World Championships.

The second game saw Sai emerge more confident and opened up a handsome lead at 7-1 in the opening exchanges. Sai continued the dominance as he closed out the game and the match, in a relatively straightforward manner to ensure he’s got himself a medal from the World Championships. Now the next two matches will decide the color of the medal, but for now Sai has ended the drought for the men’s singles players at the World Championships.

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