Promising teen shuttler Sindhu beats Chinese Olympic champ
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ANOTHER Indian has challenged China's dominance in badminton, with teenager Pusarla Venkata Sindhu sensationally beating Olympic champion and World No 2 Xuerui Li in the quarterfinals of the China Masters meet at Changzhou on Friday.
The 17-year-old current national badminton champion won 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 against the Chinese gold medallist in the first Super Series meet post the Olympics, ensuring that badminton continues to bring home happy tidings a month after Saina Nehwal clinched for India its first Olympic bronze medal in the sport.
The elation is elevated a few notches not merely because the Indian, ranked World No 24, accounted for the Olympic champion, but also because Sindhu brings with her the added advantage of her towering frame at 5'10". Her pedigree is further enhanced by her sporting genes — parents P V Ramana and P Vijaya are both volleyball players.
Moreover, she has emerged from the same Gopichand academy stable in Hyderabad from where Nehwal leapt to Olympic glory. Gopichand incidentally has kept stressing on the need of sheer numbers to take on the Chinese.
Sindhu's win against the Olympic champion was a reflection of her temperament as in the two sets that she won, she didn't once concede the lead to Xuerui. Coming off the Olympic campaign, the Chinese looked a tad rusty and circumspect. As such, the year immediately after the Olympics witnesses a lot of flux as a new brigade emerges, and the Chinese are known to take a good, appraising look at the newer opponents. Still, no one would deny that Sindhu brought her ace-game of high reach and steep smashes (26) to the table in the quarters, a day after she'd accounted for eighth seed Thai Porntip Buranaprasertsuk 10-21, 21-7, 21-19.
A five-point lead in the opener kept Sindhu in good stead to go a set up while in the decider she opened up a 8-3 gap.
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