PBL: Rockets downs Hunters

South Korean Sung Ji Hyun handed Carolina Marin her first defeat in three contests at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League 2017, winning the women’s singles 11-7, 7-11, 14-12 for Mumbai Rockets.

carolina marin

After back-to-back wins over P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal earlier in the competition, the world number two from Spain got caught on an off-day, a shadow or her ruthless self and no escape path in the breakneck 11-point format.   -  K. V. S. Giri

South Korean Sung Ji Hyun handed Carolina Marin her first defeat in three contests at the Vodafone Premier Badminton League 2017, winning the women’s singles 11-7, 7-11, 14-12 for Mumbai Rockets.

After back-to-back wins over P.V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal earlier in the competition, the world number two from Spain got caught on an off-day, a shadow or her ruthless self and no escape path in the breakneck 11-point format.

After Carolina, it was Ajay Jayaram’s turn to face harsh reality, going down tamely in straight sets to Rajeev Ouseph in men’s singles, unable to dictate terms the way he managed on Tuesday night during an upset win over Denmark’s highly-rated Jan Jorgensen (Delhi Acers). Mumbai Rockets losing a Trump tie, the mixed doubles featuring mighty Lee Yong Dae, gave the contst a new twist. H S Prannoy’s win over Saurabh Verma (designated Trump tie by Hyderabad Hunters) in the firth singles swung the final outcome 2-1 his team’s way.

The home team received a huge boost from world number three Sung, getting the better of an erratic rival by banking on wristy shots, flat returns and anticipation. The first game loss at 11-7 was a sign of things to come, Carolina alternated between trademark ferocity and slipups at the net thereafter, especially in the decider which saw the initiative swing from end to end. She grabbed the lead many times, only to give it away on the next point, going down in the end.

The two Trump matches going the other way, mixed doubles won by Hyderabad and the second men’s singles by Mumbai Rockets kept the dugout in both camps on the edge till th end, before Mumbai Rockets sneaked home 2-1 for the second win on the trot at the NSCI stadium, the home base.

Results Mumbai Rockets 2 bt Hyderabad Hunters 1 (Lee Yong Dae & P Nipitphon bt Boon Heong Tan & Wee Kong Tan 11-9, 11-5; Sung Ji Hyun bt Carolina Marin 11-7, 7-11, 14-12; Ajay Jayaram lost to Rajiv Ouseph 7-11, 8-11; Lee Yong Dae & Nadiezba Zeiba (T) lost to Satviksairaj Reddy & Hoi Wah Chou 13-11, 10-12, 14-15; H S Prannoy bt Sameer Verma (T) 11-6, 11-7).