Sindhu thwarts Okuhara to clinch Korean Open Super Series

P. V. Sindhu played a spectacular match to record a 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 win over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara to clinch the Korean Open Super Series.

P.V. Sindhu poses with the winner's trophy after defeating world champion Nozomi Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the final of the Korea Open Super Series on Sunday.   -  AP

Olympic silver medallist shuttler P. V. Sindhu defeated world champion Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling summit clash to clinch the women’s singles title at the Korea Open Super Series here today.

The 22-year-old Indian saw off eighth seed Okuhara 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in an energy-sapping contest that lasted an hour and 23 minutes to exact sweet revenge of her heart-wrenching World Championship final loss to the Japanese at Glasgow last month.

Expectations of an epic battle were raised after Sindhu and Okuhara set up a summit clash for the second time in little over three weeks since they had fought for an hour and 50 minutes in one of the greatest women’s singles matches in the World Championships final last month.

Sunday’s summit clash also turned out to be another electrifying contest as Sindhu displayed great stubbornness to lay claim to her third super series title of her career.

The first set was very closely fought and Sindhu saved two game points to take a 21-20 lead and clinch the next point to take the game. A determined Okuhara came back strong and proved her mettle to take the second game comfortably.

However, in a block-buster match that saw both women give it their all, Sindhu largely stepped up her game to take the third set 21-18 and with that, the winner's trophy as well.

The highlight of the match was certainly the deciding rally of 56 shots in the third set, which took the scoreline to 19-16,  leaving Sindhu just two points shy of victory.

World no. 4 Sindhu, who had clinched the 2016 China Super Series Premier and India Open Super Series and Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold this season, dashed Okuhara’s bid to win her third straight title after winning the Australian Open and the World Championships.

The win also helped Sindhu to level her head-to-head record against Okuhara, making it 4-4 in eight meetings.