Ayane Yamaguchi claims maiden BWF Super Series Finals title

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Ayane Yamaguchi ends this year on a high note by winning the BWF Super Series Finals. (photo: AP)
Ayane Yamaguchi ends this year on a high note by winning the BWF Super Series Finals. (photo: AP)

Dubai: Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, who has been known for her fiery competitiveness and seemingly never tired playing style, as she was always engaged and moving to cover every inch of the court, defeated India’s Rio Olympic silver medalist P.V. Sindhu 15-21, 21-12, 21-19 on Sunday to pick up her first BWF Super Series women’s singles title.

The World No. 2 Yamaguchi who stands 156 cm (5 ft. 1 in) tall, was able to tie the score at 8-8 against the 179cm (5 ft. 10 in) Sindhu early first set. After taking the lead at 13-8, Sindhu suddenly broke clear and win the next six points to be on game point while Yamaguchi was stuck on 13 before the Indian wrapped up the first set in 23 minutes.

Sindhu opened the second set with a comfortable 5-0 cushion, only to see Yamaguchi drew level for a second time at 8-8. Yamaguchi did not back down and kept pressing her opponents to force Sindhu to make unforced errors as the Japanese raced away with 21-12 in the second set.

The decider was another see-saw battle, with Sindhu once again had a 4-0 early lead before Yamaguchi stormed back with her full court defense thought tense lengthy rallies that ultimately saw the World No. 2 took the lead at 17-15 before Sindhu tied it at 17-17. However, the more energetic and more focused Yamaguchi apparently had worn out Sindhu, and took full advantage Sindhu’s mistakes in the end of third set before cruising to the finish line 21-19.

“It was a really a tough match but I enjoyed the final very much thanks to the support from the fans. I was hoping the fans would enjoy the match-up between me and Sindhu,” said Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi became second BWF Super Series Finals women’s singles winner from Japan after Nozomi Okuhara won it in 2015.

Japan also scooped up another BWF Super Series Finals title on Sunday in the women’s doubles final where Koharu Yonemoto/Shiho Tanaka outlasted world silver medalists Yuki Fukushima and Sayaka Hirota 21-16, 21-15 in 57 minutes.

In what could be their last partnership together, China’s world number one Zheng Siwei and Chen Qingchen won the BWF Super Series Finals title with a straight set victory 21-15, 22-20 against Tang Chun Man/Tse Ying Suet of Hong Kong.

Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen defend mixed doubles title at Dubai World Superseries 2017. (photo: AP)
Zheng Siwei/Chen Qingchen defend mixed doubles title at Dubai World Superseries 2017. (photo: AP)

“We were ready for the third set when we were trailed at 19-20 in the second game,” said Chen. “This might the last time we played together as Zheng has been paired with different mixed doubles partner starting next season.”

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