#AsianGames2018: Sindhu scripts history; gives India first-ever badminton singles silver
Olympic medalist PV Sindhu yet again finished second-best in a major final but grabbed a historic individual silver medal at the Asian Games after losing the women's singles title clash to "World No. 1" Tai Tzu-Ying in Jakarta. 23-year-old Sindhu is the first-ever Indian shuttler to reach Asiad singles final. She, however, lost 13-21 16-21 to Chinese Taipei's Tai in 34 minutes. Here's more.
For the first time ever, this year, India won two individual badminton medals at the Asian Games with PV Sindhu claiming silver and Saina Nehwal clinching bronze earlier. Saina was also conquered by Tai in the semi-finals.
Losing to Tai today was PV Sindhu's third defeat in a big final this year, having lost the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games title clash to Saina Nehwal, and the World Championship summit clash to Spain's Carolina Marin. The Rio Olympic silver medalist had also lost the finals at India Open (to Beiwen Zhang) and Thailand Open (to Nozomi Okuhara) this year.
Having lost previous five encounters to Tai, "World No. 3" Sindhu today needed to punch above her weight to tackle the Chinese Taipei ace shuttler. Tai, however, was in complete control right from the beginning, taking the first five points of the match, with her trademark sharp returns. In the Asiad singles final, Sindhu had no option but to attack.
Sindhi returned harder to reduce the deficit to 4-6, but Tai consistently outsmarted her, using the deft drop shots effectively. Tai was deceptive in her strokes and pulled away with a 17-10 lead. She would change the angle and direction of the stroke very easily, making it difficult for Sindhu to anticipate and find appropriate returns. The first game ended in just 16 minutes.
In the second game, to negate Tai's strong net game, Sindhu tried to push her back to the baseline. Though Sindhu got points, she also lost too many due to unforced errors as some of the shots sailed over the lines. The strategy could have been more effective if she had not missed drop shots after pinning Tai to baseline.
Initially, Sindhu was tied with Tai at 4-4 but as the second game wore on, Tai tightened her grip. An un-returnable smash put Tai ahead 15-10. It was over soon with Tai earning a match-point with Sindhu netting a shuttle at 15-19. Sindhu saved the first match-point with a smash winner on Tai's backhand. The Taipei ace sealed it with a drop shot winner.