Hyderabad: Olympic champion Carolina Marin kicked-off the second edition of Premier Badminton League in style winning a closely contested encounter against PV Sindhu guiding Hyderabad Hunters to 4-3 win over Chennai Smashers.
The marquee match saw the Spanish girl enjoying the last laugh winning 11-8 12-14 11-2. Chennai came back into the contest with Tomy Sugiarto winning the first men’s singles beating B Sai Praneeth to make it 1-1.
The top British husband-wife pair of Chris and Gabby Adcock won the mixed doubles rubber which Chennai had marked as their ‘Trump match’.
The win gave them two points and made it 3-1. In a must-win second men’s singles match of the day, Rajiv Ouseph of Hyderabad scored a thrilling 11-6 11-8 11-6 win against Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk to make it 2-3.
Hyderabad had no option but to choose the final men’s doubles rubber as their ‘Trump match’ where Boon Heong Tan-Wee Kiong Tan beat Mads Pieter Kolding-B Sumeeth Reddy 11-7 and 11-8 to make it 4-3.
Earlier in the Marin versus Sindhu encounter, the first game saw the Spaniard opening the scoring, only for Sindhu to equalise soon after. It was a to and fro action with both the players scoring on regulation.
With scores tied 4-4, it was the Spaniard who opened up a three points gap to go up 9-6. Sindhu pulled one back, but Marin quickly stole one more point to go up 10-8. With game point in her favour, Marin did not try to do anything enterprising and was eventually rewarded for her patience as the Chennai player hit the nets to let her rival walk away with the opening game.
In the second game, it was Marin who started from where she left and took the attack straight to her opponent. She notched up points at will to go 5-2 up and it looked like she will not have to lose much sweat in the second game.
However, Sindhu had other plans and she fought her way back to take five consecutive points to lead the game 7-5. The Spaniard however was in no mood to let go her opponent so easily and she took four points on the trot to go up 9-7. Sindhu stole one and so did Marin and with the score reading 10-8 in Marin’s favour, it looked like match was all but over. However, Sindhu fought back brilliantly to not only save three match points but to win 14-12 and level the match.
With the high-intensity action in the second game, it looked like the deciding game would be even more action packed. But Marin did not even let Sindhu settle and stormed her way to take the 11-2 and win the match and also break Sindhu’s unbeatable run in the league.
Delighted with her win, Marin said,”It was a wonderful match and the way the crowd was behind, it was wonderful. Their support meant and lot and helped me to perform a lot better.”