BWF finals

Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu is shown in action against American Beiwen Zhang during the finals of the India Open BWF World Tour Super 500 at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi on Feb. 4. (Bidesh Manna/IANS photo)

NEW DELHI (IANS) — Star Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu fell to fifth seeded Beiwen Zhang from the U.S. in the women's singles final of the $350,000 India Open BWF World Tour Super 500 here Feb. 4.

The mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy exited in the semi-finals a day earlier, falling16-21, 19-21 in 45 minutes against Danish fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen.

Sindhu, the defending champion and top seed lost 18-21, 21-11, 20-22 in an hour and nine minutes to give Beiwen her "career's best moment" at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.

With the win, Beiwen levelled 2-2 in the head-to-head records against the Olympic 2016 silver medalist Sindhu. Beiwen bagged the winner's check of $26,250 while Sindhu got $13,300.

In the women's singles final, Beiwen was quick off the blocks. In the first game, she took a 3-0 early lead but Sindhu gained three consecutive points to pull level.

Beiwen looked sharper, especially on her defense, as she opened up a 8-5 lead before the Indian took a 9-8 lead. Sindhu went to the mid-game interval with a 11-9 lead.

However, Beiwen fought back after the break and later the two were involved in a see-saw battle till the 16-point mark from where Beiwen broke away. She fired a winner on the left and then Sindhu netted one before putting one out to concede three points on the trot.

Beiwen allowed Sindhu to be back into the contest as she wrongly judged one stroke to be long. The American then could only push it on to the net. But another winner was followed by Sindhu's putting one wide to give Beiwen the 21-18 win.

In the second game, playing in front of the home crowd, Sindhu charged into contention by winning the second game quite easily. She was much more dominant, bringing her smashes into play. She raced to an 8-2 lead before Beiwen made it 4-8.

Sindhu, however, led 11-4 at the mid-game break.

After the break, Beiwen collected one point after another to narrow down the deficit to three at 10-13 before Sindhu grabbed seven consecutive points to take the match to the third game.

Beiwen, however, got her way in the third game, reducing the time and lift Sindhu was getting in the previous game.

Beiwen held a 9-4 lead but Sindhu rose to the challenge, not allowing her opponent to have her way.

Sindhu trailed 9-11 at the mid-game interval but after the change of ends the Indian quickly pulled level at the 11-point mark.

After Beiwen got one more point, Sindhu's drop shot was netted by the American, who then conceded the 12-13 lead after failing to defend a smash on the right.

Leading 15-14, Sindhu was unable pick drop shots twice before hitting a defensive shot wide to give Beiwen a 17-15 advantage.

Sindhu hit back with two bodyline smashes to equalize at 19-19 and a drop shot which Beiwen failed to reach.

The American then failed to respond to a smash to trail 19-20. Sindhu then shot one to the net to make it 20-all. Beiwen then fired a smash before Sindhu hit one wide to lose the game 20-22.

Beiwen said: "Sindhu was under pressure of expectations in front of the Indian crowd, while I had nothing to lose. That helped me.

"Normally I don't hit so many smashes but I managed to do it today," Beiwen said, revealing the errors of Sindhu.

Meanwhile, in the men's singles category, Chinese third seed Shi Yuqi beat Chinese Taipei's second seed Chou Tien Chen 21-18, 21-14 in 47 minutes.

Indonesian men's doubles top-seeds Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo lived up to their reputation as they got past Danish fourth seeds Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen 21-14, 21-16 in 38 minutes.

Danish mixed doubles fifth seeds Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen beat Indonesians Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti 21-14, 21-15 in 37 minutes in the final.

The women's doubles title went to Indonesian third seeds Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu, who won 21-18, 21-15 in 58 minutes against Thai second seeds Jongkolphan Kititharakul and Rawinda Prajongjai.

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