Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu had to settle for silver after losing 19-21, 22-20, 20-22 to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a hard-fought final of the World Badminton Championships at Glasgow in Scotland on 27 August 2017. Rio Olympics silver-medallist Sindhu finished her semifinal at around 2:30am on Sunday morning and she was again back on the court after 17 hours for the final. Both the players exhibited their extreme levels of fitness despite being drained out during the entire final due to long rallies and sheer power game. This was the longest match of the World Championships, which lasted for 110 minutes.
1. This was Sindhu’s first final appearance in the World Championship and thus her best ever performance.
2. This was a third medal for Sindhu at Worlds, having won bronze twice in 2013 and 2014.
3. It was also India’s best-ever show in a World Championship as the country now has two medals for the first time.
After changing the sides, Okuhara picked up two straight points to reduce the gap to 7-11. The attacking Okuhara soon made it 10-13 after clinching a point on a hard fought 39-shot rally. Sindhu kept her claim against Okuhara but faltered at crucial junctures. Okuhara levelled the scores at 14-all and then took four-point lead to make it 18-14. The lanky Indian came out with lot of unforced errors specially after putting up all her effort in the big rallies. Okuhara made few unforced errors too as Sindhu fought back to make it 18-18 in the first game. At 19-19, Sindhu played it on the net to give her opponent a game point and then played it wide of the court to lose the first game 19-21.
Sindhu took the crucial lead at 18-17 and extended it to 19-17 in quick time. Okuhara fought back hard to make it 19-19. Unforced error from Sindhu, who played it on the net, gave Okuhara first Championship point. Sindhu kept her nerves and mind in control as she drew level at 20-20. But again the same error from Sindhu gave Okuhara second Championship point and she didn’t make the mistake this time and won the championship by sealing the final game 22-20 in her favour.