Asian Games 2018: P.V. Sindhu nets the silver

This is also her third major finals loss of the year

August 28, 2018 01:19 pm | Updated 10:40 pm IST - Jakarta

 India’s P.V. Sindhu in action during her semifinal match against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on August 27, 2018.

India’s P.V. Sindhu in action during her semifinal match against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on August 27, 2018.

One could virtually see the many little question marks floating above P.V. Sindhu’s head as she moved this way and that trying to figure out Tai Tzu Ying.

As Saina Nehwal had said earlier, the Taipei star’s deceptive play could often leave opponents in a daze.

Sindhu has had a wonderful journey here, just as at the recent Worlds in Nanjing, and it brought the country its first badminton silver at the Asian Games, but there was very little she could have done against the World’s No. 1 player in the women’s singles final on Tuesday. Tai Tzu was clearly in another zone as she defeated the Indian World No. 3 21-13, 21-16.

Christie men’s champ

Earlier, World No. 15 Jonatan Christie, clearly inspired by the packed home stadium, defeated Taipei’s World No. 6 Chou Tien Chen 21-18, 20-22, 21-15 to bring the men’s singles title back to Indonesia after 12 years.

Former Olympic champion Taufik Hidayat was the last Indonesian player to win the gold, in Doha in 2006.

Apart from keeping Sindhu guessing all through the 36-minute encounter, Tai Tzu did not allow the Indian much room to operate, execute her smashes or settle down.

And the 24-year-old Taipei star had so many weapons in her armoury that she could change her strategy from point to point.

As she raced to a 5-0 lead in the opener, she was repeatedly targeting Sindhu’s forehand even as the Worlds silver medallist kept worrying when she would be forced to scamper to the other side to handle a soft drop.

A little later, Tai Tzu was targeting the Indian’s body forcing her to go for some awkward strokes. There were some smart passing shots, round-the-head shots, nice flicks, lifts and some very deceptive drops.

General pattern

Sindhu won her first point with a drop and the next two through Tai Tzu’s mistakes. That was the pattern for much of the match.

The World No. 1 had large leads all through and appeared relaxed.

There was one phase in the second game when Sindhu levelled at four but Tai Tzu used the lift and her deceptive round-the-head shot to move the Indian around and raced to a 9-5 lead and never looked back.

“She has every stroke, she is a deceptive player, a very attacking player. She is completely different, whether she is playing a toss or a smash or a drop, she is very deceptive,” said Sindhu. “I should not have given her continuous points, I should have tried to break her rhythm,” she said.

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