PV Sindhu fails the Carolina Marin test, Treesa-Gayatri win - Hindustan Times
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PV Sindhu fails the Carolina Marin test, Treesa-Gayatri win

May 30, 2024 09:43 PM IST

The Indian star was within points of sealing the win before her game fell away.

Five meetings, six years. That’s how long it had been since PV Sindhu had beaten rival and three-time world champion Carolina Marin. On Thursday, in the 17th chapter of their rivalry, the twice Olympic medallist came close to beating the Spaniard while leading 8-3 and then 15-10 in the decider. Even though the feisty world No.3 closed down the gap, at 19-17 Sindhu was only two points away from an elusive win. But it wasn’t to be as Carolina snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to win 13-21, 21-11, 22-20 in an hour and eight minutes.

Sindhu was only two points away from an elusive win(PTI)
Sindhu was only two points away from an elusive win(PTI)

The loss will hurt Sindhu who had her best chance to beat the Rio Olympics champion, who is known for her will to win which is always off the charts. After sharing the first two games, Sindhu took advantage of the better side of the court, playing against the drift to ramp up points and go into the interval leading 11-9. But third seed Carolina kept fighting. She stayed in the middle of her court, now playing from the better side after the change of ends, attacking Sindhu’s body.

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The Indian, who won the $850,000 Singapore Badminton Open two years ago, looked nervy at the prospect of defeating the world No.3. Carolina, on her part, knew how to rattle Sindhu, playing a psychological game as the Indian simply did not have any answers to Carolina’s attack at the net. Carolina showed intent in her returns, a virtue that went missing from Sindhu’s armour at the end.

Just like last Sunday when Sindhu wasted away an 11-3 lead in the third game to lose the Malaysia Masters final against China’s Wang Zhi Yi, the 28-year-old Indian could not take advantage a five-point lead in the decider to hand Carolina a quarter-final entry in the Super 750 tournament.

"It was a good game overall. At 20-all it was anybody's game. The side I played from in the third game was a bit disadvantaged. I tried to get as many points as I could. It was just her day,” said Sindhu, who will play the Indonesia Open next week.

Vimal Kumar, head coach of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy (PPBA) where Sindhu trains in Bengaluru, has always stressed that to reach the zenith again, Sindhu needs to beat the top 4-5 players, including Carolina.

“It is time to prepare for the next tournament. We are getting close to the Olympics. It is important I stay positive and be focused and learn from these matches," added Sindhu, who lost to Carolina a 12th time, sixth successive, in 18 meetings.

Men’s singles eighth seed HS Prannoy too lost his second round at the Singapore Indoor Stadium, going down 13-21, 21-14, 15-21 in 78 minutes to Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto.

However, Treesa Jolly and P Gayatri Gopichand sprang quite a surprise as they staged one of the biggest wins of their careers beating reigning All England and Asian champions Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee in what was their first win in three meetings against the world No.2 pairing. The Indian combine took less than an hour to beat the South Korean second seeds 21-9, 14-21, 21-15 to enter the quarter-finals.

The duo will next face another South Korean pair, world No.6 and former All England champions Kim So Yeong and Kong Hee Yong on Friday. The three-time World Championship medallists have a 1-0 record against Treesa and Gayatri.

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