New Delhi: 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 number one Tai Tzu Ying on Tuesday.
Sindhu lost 13-21, 16-21 to Tai Tzu Ying in the summit clash. No Indian had ever reached the final of a singles event at the Asian Games before the 23-year-old from Hyderabad, who lost 13-21 16-21 to Chinese Taipei’s Tai in just 34 minutes.
It is the first time that India has won two individual medals at the Asian Games with Saina Nehwal clinching a bronze earlier.
Sindhu was sluggish at the start, making unforced errors but recovered quickly to be in control. Yamaguchi played an attacking game but the tall Sindhu had strokes to counter her rival. Sindhu dominated the rallies and created an 11-8 lead at first break. The Indian remained solid at the net, using a variety of stroke to force the Japanese world number 2 to make errors.
A long rally ensued at 20-17 but Yamaguchi sent a smash wide to put the Indian ahead. In the second game, too, Sindhu remained the dominant player but unforced errors crept in and she lost the lead.
Yamaguchi pulled off a stunning point, leading at 14-12 after forcing an error from Sindhu, who kept retrieving the shuttler, using one smash after another. Sindhu struggled to contain errors from there and lost the game by hitting a forehand wide. The Indian reeled off four points in a row to shoot to 7-3 in the deciding game, before taking the break with an 11-7 lead. She also won a sensational 50-shot rally to pull away 16-8. With such a big lead at hand, Sindhu finished the match in her favour with a super smash.
World number 10 and Olympic medallist Saina played with good intensity but lost 17-21 14-21 to a superior Tzu Ying, who stood out with her court coverage and retrieving in the 32-minute contest. Coming into this match, Saina had lost last nine matches against Tzu Ying, including three in the 2018 season.