Basel: The third time was a charm for PV Sindhu of India, who finally won her first and also India’s first World Championships title in Basel on Sunday afternoon after having to remain as runner-up each of the past two years. Not this time though, as she delivered a completely dominant and one-sided final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.
Sindhu knew what kind of damage Okuhara could bring to the court and she didn’t take the Japanese player lightly by unleashing powerful smashes, playing with quick tempo right from the get-go and moving Okuhara to the left and right baseline corners. The strategies paid off as Sindhu race to an 8-1 lead, completely suppressing the Japanese player by winning the first game 21-7.
The Indian player continue her high speed and high power tactics in the second set, pressuring Okuhara to make mistakes and ultimately won the final in just 37 minutes with a 21-7 second set victory. She dedicated her victory to her mom during her post-match interview.
“I would like to thanks my coaches, Miss Kim (Ji Hyun) and Sir Pullela Gopichand and also dedicate this award to my mom, Happy Birthday mom!” said Sindhu.
The win was also a sweet revenge for Sindhu after her heart breaking loss to Okuhara in the 2017 World Championships final, where she went down to the Japanese 19-21, 22-20, 20-22 in a record-breaking one hour 50-minutes battle.
In additions to the silver medal in 2017, Sindhu also settled for silver in the 2018 edition while winning bronze in 2013 and 2014. Another Indian women’s singles ace, Saina Nehwal had won silver in 2015 and a bronze medal in the 2017 World Championships.
Compared to the women’s singles final, the women’s doubles final was one of the most intense and dramatic battle every fought at the World Championships. Defending champions Mayu Matsumoto/Wakana Nagahara got off to a quick start by winning the first set 21-11. However, Yuki Fukushima/Sayaka Hirota who won the world silver medal last year, fended off the late surge from Matsumoto/Nagahara in the second to claim the game 22-20.
In a seesaw decider, Fukushima/Hirota were able to rally from 15-20 to tie the game at 20-20 before giving themselves a match point advantage at 21-20. Nevertheless, Matsumoto/Nagahara held their nerve, grinding towards the end as Nagahara made a drop shot that helped them secure the 23-21 victory under pressure.