Double Olympic medallist PV Sindhu reached her first final of the year as she eked out a straight-game victory over Singapore’s Yeo Jia Min at Madrid Spain Masters Super 300 tournament here on Saturday.
The second seed Sindhu toiled hard for 48 minutes to pull off a 24-22, 22-20 win over the lowly-ranked Singaporean shuttler in an intensely fought semi-finals.
Sindhu came to the match with a 4-0 head-to head record against Min.
Trailing 15-20, Sindhu, showed immense fighting spirit as she saved seven game points to take the first game 24-22. She used the body smash to great effect and converted the only game point opportunity she had. In the second game, Sindhu trailed 1-4, before opening a five-point lead at 11-6.
World No. 33 Min, however, played a gorgeous drop shot to level the scores at 17-17. Sindhu then had two match points, but Min manage to save both of them before driving one wide, giving the Indian her third match point.
This time Sindhu made no errors as Min found the net.
It is Sindhu’s first final since winning the gold and the Commonwealth Games last year.
The win will come as a huge morale boost for Sindhu who has been struggling for form this season since returning to action following a long injury lay-off.
Sindhu has dropped out of the top-10 for the first time since November 2016.
She made a first-round exit from the prestigious All England Championship and failed to defend her Swiss Open Super 300 badminton title earlier this month. She had made first-round exits at the Indian Open and Malaysia Open in January.
Sindhu had parted with her South Korean coach Park Tae-Sang on February.
Park, who guided Sindhu to a Tokyo Olympic Games bronze, Commonwealth Games gold and a lot more took over the role of Sindhu’s coach towards the end of 2019.
Under Park, the badminton superstar won three BWF World Tour tiles in 2022 — the Syed Modi International, Swiss Open and Singapore Open. She also won the women’s singles gold medal at the CWG in Birmingham.
Sindhu’s worldwide popularity could be gauged from the fact that she was swarmed over by fans in Madrid after she won the semi-final clash. Fans asked for autographs and selfies and the Indian obliged happily. The smile is surely back on Sindhu’s face.
Written with inputs from PTI