Hyderabad: P V Sindhu suffered a shocking loss to Sung Ji Hyun but defending champions Hyderabad Hunters still looked on course for a win with a 3-1 lead over Chennai Smashers in the Premier Badminton League here Tuesday. In the women’s singles match, Ji Hyun Sung got the better of Olympic and World Championship silver medallist Sindhu 15-13 14-15 15-7.
Hyderabad, who began their campaign with a sweep against newcomers Pune 7 Aces on the opening day in Mumbai, were five points away from their first defeat on their own trump before Kim Sa Rang and Bodin Isara summoned all their guile and experience to turn the tables on B Sumeeth Reddy and Chin Chung Or. They won 13-15 15-12 15-10 and gave their team two crucial points.
Having lost the opening game, Kim and Isara were trailing 4-10 in the second and looked lost against the aggressive approach from the Chennai Smashers men’s doubles pair. But it was the sheer experience of the South Korean-Thai pair that allowed them to not just overcome the opponents but also difficult court conditions with quick flat strokes to first force a decider and then wrap the match.
Lee Hyun Il, the 38-year-old veteran from South Korea, then gave a few lessons to Chong Wei Feng, winning 15-11 15-13. The battle of the two left-handers saw quite a few rallies played from the back of the court and every time it felt like the Chennai Smashers shuttler was looking to make a comeback, the experienced South Korean turned things around.
The victory set up yet another opportunity for the BWF World Tour Finals champion Sindhu to wrap up the tie by giving her team an unassailable lead but the 23-year-old just could not find the rhythm that saw her beat Carolina Marin on the opening day.