SINDHU Signs Off With Silver: Compound Archery Teams Also Finish Second

AFTER India’s ace badminton star Saina Nehwal failed in the Asian Games Semi final, her compatriot Olympic medallist PV Sindhu finished second-best in a major final but grabbed a historic individual silver medal at the 18th Asian Games after losing the women’s singles title clash to world number one Chinese Taipi’s Tai Tzu-Ying on Tuesday .She is the first Indian shuttler who reached the final of a singles event at the Asian Games. Saina said she could not read her rival Tai Tzu-Ying while competing with her for the semi- final berth. Saina Nehwal lost 17-21, 14-21 in straight games and was awarded a bronze medal. Saina, who was unseeded at the 18th Games, said she needs to improve her movements and shots to better her game. “I need to be quicker and have smooth movements, lot more shots as well, to finish the rallies (against her). Somewhere she will catch you. Every rally is a different rally with her. Most players have set pattern but she has got a variety of shots,” Saina said…It is the first time that India has won two individual medals in badminton at the Asian Games. It was 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 medallist 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 number three Sindhu needed to punch above her weight to tackle the Chinese Taipei ace. Tai was in complete control from the beginning, taking the first five points of the match, with her trademark sharp returns. Sindhu had no option but to attack. She returned harder to reduce the deficit to 4-6 but Tai consistently outsmarted Sindhu, using the deft drop shots very effectively.

To negate Tai’s strong net game, Sindhu tried to push her back to the baseline in the second game. It got her points but she lost too many points 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 game wore on, the Taipei shuttler continued to tighten her grip over the contest. An un-returnable smash put her ahead 15-10.

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