Sindhu breaks Tai Tzu Ying code

Sindhu breaks Tai Tzu Ying code

GUTSY: Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu staged a fighting victory over Chinese Taipei Tai Tzu Ying in the Group 'A' match at the World Tour Finals. FILE PHOTO

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu finally broke her jinx against world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying with a come-from-behind win in a thriller, while Sameer Verma outclassed Indonesia's Tommy Sugiarto at the World Tour Finals here on Thursday.

After six successive losses in 13 meetings, Sindhu got the better of her nemesis Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 in a Group 'A' match that lasted a little over an hour.

World No 14 Sameer, who qualified for the tournament at the last moment after defending his title at the Syed Modi International last month, dished out a dominating performance to beat the 10th ranked Sugiarto 21-16, 21-7 in a 40-minute group B clash.

Sindhu, who had finished runners-up in the last edition, gave ample display of her grit as she bounced back from a game down and erased a 6-11 deficit in the final game to record her first win over Asian Games champion Tzu Ying since the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In the 16-minute opening game, Sindhu couldn't produce the winners initially and could only cash in on the unforced errors of her rival. Tzu Ying, on the other hand, looked as impressive as ever with her deceptive strokes and technical acumen.

Sindhu was lagging 2-6 early on. Tai extended her lead to 8-4 after Sindhu went long and wide.

A couple of brilliant shots helped Sindhu to grab two points before she lifted one to the net.

Two delightful shots on both sides of the court gave Tzu Ying a 11-7 advantage at the first break.

After the breather, Tzu Ying unleashed two cross court returns on Sindhu's backhand to continue gathering points and reached 15-8.

Sindhu grabbed the next three points before the Chinese Taipei shuttler produced a smash to break the run of points.

Tzu Ying's acute angled strokes bothered Sindhu as she reached 17-12. A lucky net chord gave another point to Tzu Ying, who also played an eye-catching behind-the-back shot to win another point. The Taipei shuttler essayed a clinical display to bag the game. 

In the second game, Tzu Ying made Sindhu run around the court with her acute angled returns but made many unforced errors herself.

Sindhu jumped to a 6-3 lead with her rival missing the lines time and again.

Tzu Ying grabbed two points before going long again, giving Sindhu a 11-6 advantage at the breather.

Tzu Ying tried to stage a comeback but Sindhu managed to extend her five-point advantage, moving to 17-12. The Taiwanese girl went long and found the net as Sindhu moved to 19-13. The Indian didn't take too long to draw level. 

In the final game, Tzu Ying led 3-0 early after Sindhu went long twice. The Taiwanese's incredible touch helped her to extend it to 5-2. She caught Sindhu at the forecourt with her over-the-head cross court shot again.

Tzu Ying sent one to net and went wide again to allow Sindhu a narrow down the lead but her angled strokes kept her ahead of the Indian at 8-5.

Tzu Ying once again exploited the corners with her cross court returns and then Sindhu went long and this time Tzu Ying held a five-point advantage.

After the last change of ends, Sindhu made it 11-12 before Tzu Ying unleashed a body smash. But three unforced errors saw the Indian wrest back the lead, moving to 16-13 quickly. The Indian didn't look back from that point and emerged victorious.