India's wait for men's medal continues as Srikanth bows out

Saul Bowman
August 28, 2017

Almost two hours of fantastic badminton ended in disappointment for India's PV Sindhu, who played her heart out but in the end lost to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the women's singles final of the 2017 BWF World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland.

Nozomi Okuhara came from behind to win a women's singles semifinal on Saturday, becoming the first Japanese to reach a world badminton championships final in 40 years.

After closing the second game by winning an incredible 73-shot rally, Sindhu saved one championship point in the decider but it was the Rio Olympic bronze medallist who had the last laugh.

The Hyderabad-resident became the first Indian to claim back-to-back world championships medals with another impressive semi-final run at the 2014 edition.

Okuhara continued to move ahead, reaching 18-14 after winning 10 of the 13 points after the interval. Playing the faster side of the court, Sindhu tried to make her opponent bend and move across the court with her acute-angled strokes. Okuhara especially had to bring her top defensive tenchniques to the court against an attacking Sindhu. Sindhu netted to give Okuhara a second match point, and the Japanese opened the court to make a drop-shot victor. He won the first round by 21-17 in just 22 minutes but she had no idea about the plans of Japan's shuttler. I could feel my legs getting to things I maybe wouldn't have before and using skills I didn't have to be able to use before, so I can definitely feel lots of little changes in my game. Well she has proved her critics wrong again. Sun reduced the margin to 10-16 but Sindhu eventually earned seven game points with a smart return at the forecourt that left her opponent stranded. With this she has assured at least a Silver medal for India.

Okuhara kept coming back at Sindhu and didn't allow the Indian to dictate the pace of shuttle play.

Both players are 22. The victor of 20 titles on the circuit turned back the clock in Glasgow with her precision and solid defense, which was a delight to badminton fans. Unforced error from Sindhu gave Okuhara the first Championship point.

Having been on the circuit for so long, most of her rivals have figured out her "maar doongi" smash-the-rival-out game by now.

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