Traditionally a slow starter, and someone prone to wobbles in finishing, Sindhu had no time for either on Wednesday. A Chinese accounted for is always good news in Sindhu’s tournament order of play, ever since she nicked her first World Championship bronze, packing off a bunch of them in 2013. The road ahead brings the winner of Supanida Katethong or Japanese Sayaka Takahashi, and a further faceoff with Akane Yamaguchi and Chen Yufei.
She was at the net in a jiffy, and taming a toss angrily at the corner the next rapid moment and back to midcourt to send the shuttle cross, slicing at the hit but not bothering with artistry on the day. Speed was the currency. And that implied allowing limited time to the opponent to figure out her gameplan, her blitz for opening day.
She celebrated with a tight pumped fist, but didn’t dwell on it much, because the next ambush had to be effected on the Chinese who was taken aback by the pace. Wang was narrowing the gap, but at no point did she look like she could threaten and overhaul Sindhu. Her points were punctuations between two Sindhu whirlwinds. Rallies went long, but didn’t look protracted, and much of this was owing to Sindhu being in peak physical condition to hungrily gulp striding space on the court.
There were some cutting cross drops to the forecourt forehand of Wang – an area that doesn’t just call the lunge into play, but also opens up the rest of the court should a scrambled return get lifted back. The Chinese had her own plans and gamely stayed within two points of Sindhu in the opener till 11-9. But the break, a good swill of water taken angrily and a snorting resumption saw Sindhu growl her aggression and break away.metasports
This wasn’t the usual power-play, because the smashes didn’t pummel down across the net irretrievably. This was plain simple relentless returns that can paralyse thinking. Sindhu has never looked this eager to get on with her serve as she did today, point after point after point. And she served in quick succession – picking a 6 point flurry in the first set, and an even more rapid 9 point gust in the follow up set.