Guangzhou: After a frustrating seven finals wherein PV Sindhu ended up with the silver spoon, the Hyderabad shuttler finally laid her hand on Gold to sign of the year 2018 in a high winning the World Tour Finals, beating defending champion, Nozomi Okuhara.
And in the process she also became the first Indian to win this title. Playing her third successive season-ending finale, Sindhu, who had lost in the summit clash to another Japanese, Akane Yamaguchi, to settle for a silver in the last edition, prevailed 21-19, 21-17 in a match that lasted an hour and two minutes.
This was her career’s 14th title but the year’s first. Prior to this in 2018, she has won silver at the World Championships, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open and India Open. Dubbed a bridesmaid after falling short of gold on a number of occasions, Sindhu finally broke her jinx, screamed and sunk to her knees.
Saina Nehwal had reached the finals of 2011 World Super Series Finals, while Jwala Gutta and V Diju finished runners up at the 2009 edition. Sindhu, an Olympic and World Championship silver medallist, was composed and held her nerves at the crucial moments to stay a step ahead of the Japanese through the match.
India’s P V Sindhu Sunday hoped no one will ever question her ability to win big titles, relieved at breaking the finals jinx with a historic triumph at the World Tour Finals here. “I feel really happy. I have no words because it is my first win this year after coming and losing in the finals, so it was memorable. The year has ended on a beautiful note,” said Sindhu. “Somewhere every time people have been asking me the same question. I hope the question won’t again come to me, asking why all the time coming to the finals I lose. I think I can say now that I won a gold and I am really very proud.”
Her mentor and chief India coach Pullela Gopichand also stressed on the importance of Sindhu crossing the final hurdle. “There has been a lot of talk of her losing the finals and I think that at least, not for anybody else but for Sindhu’s mind, I think it is important she lost in the final with a comprehensive big win,” he said.
“People have been waiting for it and it is great to have this win at the end of the year.” Talking about her title win, world number six Sindhu said: “The last to last year I lost in semifinal and last year I finished runners up. This time I am the winner, so it is a beautiful tournament for me as I won all matches in the league stages and also the semifinals and finals.
“I would definitely enjoy the moment as I am here. Next we have the Indian league (Premier badminton League), so I will go directly for that and I hope do well there so that would be all for the year.” Sindhu, who had lost in the finals in the last edition, said she sometimes lost focus during the title clash. “It was a good match. Overall there was a lot of rallies. Sometimes I was remembering about the last final but I tried to focus again on the match,” she said.