PBL: Marin pips Sindhu in Hunters' win

It was a fantastic display by a visibly pumped up Carolina Marin, who avenged her Dubai Super Series loss to P. V. Sindhu. Marin's impeccably placed cross court smashes troubled the Indian No. 1.

carolina marin

Carolina Marin got off to a winning start beating her Rio Olympics final opponent P. V. Sindhu.   -  K. V. S. Giri

Reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin scripted a winning start to Hyderabad Hunters campaign in the inaugural women’s singles when she got the better of hometown girl P. V. Sindhu of Chennai Smashers and then saw the team win the first match 4-3 in the Premier Badminton League at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium here on Sunday.

A visibly pumped up Marin, who avenged her Dubai Super Series loss to the Indian No. 1, put on a wonderful show in her 11-8, 12-14, 11-2 win.

>MATCHCENTRE

In this 11-point format, it's apparent that one with a good net game has an advantage. And, Marin looked hurried to finish the first game. Her cross court smashes and the length of her returns clearly had Sindhu in a spot of bother especially when she was attacked on the flanks.

Marin's control of the pace of the game with her superior net game was impressive. She forced erratic returns from the Olympic silver medallist with impeccably placed half-smashes and big cross-court returns.

In the second game, Marin started with a 3-0 lead before Sindhu caught up at 2-3. But Marin, aided by a few good smashes, led 5-3. Sindhu changed gears and suddenly looked far better. When Marin was just a point away from winning the match, Sindhu came up with some telling smashes, including one straight into the former's body, which she acknowledged with a big smile. It was Sindhu's tenacity which saw her clinch the game and take the issue into the decider.

But Marin was in no mood to relent in the final game. She was at her best reeling off winners with Sindhu struggling to get the returns in place. Marin jumped to a 5-0 lead and never really looked back as she wrapped up the game with ease to the dismay of the Sindhu's fans in the stands.

"It was a very, very happy performance from my side. I am delighted that I pulled off this win. I was a bit nervous since it was the first match of this PBL," Marin remarked later.

"It was never so easy as it might have looked in the final game. The fact is that I focussed on what I should do better and finished off the contest. I think that was the phase when Sindhu was nervous playing in front of the cheering fans," the champion shuttler remarked.

SUGIARTO FIGHTS BACK

In the second match, World No. 21 Tommy Sugiarto defeated B. Sai Praneeth 11-6, 11-8 to level the scores. Smashers then took the lead with Chris and Gabrielle Adcock beating Hoi Wah Chau and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy 11-7, 11-9.

But World No. 16 Rajiv Ouseph shocked Smasher's Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk 6-11, 11-8, 11-6 to keep his team in the hunt.

Wee Kiong Tan and Boon Heong Tan then clinched the match for Hunters with a 11-7, 11-8 win over Mads Pieler Kolding and B. Sumeeth Reddy.

"I think Ouseph’s win was crucial even as we were banking on the men’s doubles pair to pull it off in the trump match which was the last one," said a pleased Hunters coach Fernando Rivas.