Nanjing: Indian women’s singles star shuttler PV Sindhu suffered yet another heartbreak in a major final as she lost to Rio Olympic champion Carolina Marin in straight games in her second consecutive final of the Badminton World Championships on Sunday.
Sindhu won three out of six finals she played in 2017 and now, with her second successive World Championship silver against reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin, Sindhu has now lost all four finals she’s competed in this year.
Third seed Sindhu fell 19-21, 10-21 against the Spanish seventh seed, who became the first women’s singles player to win three world titles. It was Carolina’s third title in the last four editions. The Asian Games, which get underway in less than a fortnight, could be Sindhu’s most immediate chance at redemption. India have never won a badminton gold medal at the continental event and the 23-year-old may fancy owning that chunk of history.
The second silver for Sindhu – who lost the final to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in Glasgow last year – meant she is the only Indian to have four World Championships podium finishes. She had won bronze at the 2013 Guangzhou and 2014 Copenhagen editions.
Sindhu’s career so far
2012: A special win
After taking gold at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games, Sindhu’s only title of 2012 was gold in the 2012 Asian Junior Championships.
2013: Young, but mature
PV Sindhu, still in her teens, won her first Grand Prix gold at the 2013 Malaysian Open, beating Singapore’s Juan Gu 21-17, 17-21, 21-19. She then became India’s first medallist in women’s singles at the Badminton World Championships when she beat China’s Wang Shixian 21-18, 21-17 to win bronze. She capped that with a win at the Macau Open Grand Prix in December 2013, beating Canadian Michelle Li. For her achievements, she was awarded the Arjuna Award.
2014: History at Worlds
She then became the first Indian to win back-to-back medals at the World Badminton Championships, when she won bronze. In addition to that, she won bronze at the Uber Cup, the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Asia Championships.
2015: Xuerui revenge
Sindhu reached her first Super Series final, losing to Li Xuerui 19-21, 12-21 in the final. She made up for that disappointment a month later, winning her third successive Macau Open.
2016: The big one
Sindhu began the year with a bang, winning the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix, adding to her title in the same competition from 2013. However, the biggest achievement of the year came at Rio, when she won silver after losing in the women’s singles final to Carolina Marin. She won her maiden Super Series title defeating China’s Sun Yu 21-11, 17-21, 21-11 in the final of the China Open.
2017: Cracking top five
Sindhu moved into the top five in the world rankings at the start of 2017 – and hasn’t moved out since.
2018: So near yet so far
What could have been the ‘Year of Sindhu’ has become another one where she’s gotten so near, yet remained so far.
(With agency inputs)