Is Indian badminton star PV Sindhu a choker?
PV Sindhu is one of the biggest stars in badminton currently. She achieved her career-best ranking of two in April 2017.
She has won 15 titles in women’s singles. She has also won a silver medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016, after losing the final to Carolina Marin of Spain. Thus becoming the first Indian player to reach the final in the Olympic Games history.
She has won five medals at World Championships, becoming just the second woman shuttler to do so after Zhang Ning. She has also won numerous medals in different competitions.
But despite all her achievements, Sindhu has been a choker in the finals as she loses steam in the finals too frequently. Here are a few examples.
In the World Championships, she won gold in her fifth attempt. She came twice to winning the gold before that in the previous two editions.
But she had to settle for silver. In the 2017 World Championship, she lost the final to Nozomi Okuhara. She choked in the last final few games in the third game and conceded it with a 20-22 margin.
In the 2018 World Championship, Sindhu destroyed all opponents in straight games before being finally outclassed by her long-time nemesis Carolina Marin by 19-21, 10-21 margin in the final.
But her luck finally smiled in the 2019 edition where she destroyed Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7. However, Sindhu became the first Indian shuttler to win a gold at the Worlds.
2018 India Open and Asian Games
Her final jinx continued at home, where she couldn’t convert a championship point and lost the title round to Zhang Beiwen. In the same year, she faltered again in the final in the Asian Games, losing the title round to Tai Tzu-Ying.
However, she etched her name in the record books by becoming the first Indian women’s singles shuttler to win silver at Asian Games.
2016 Olympic Games
Sindhu was in top form in the tournament, ousting world-class players enroute to the final. But she met her nemesis Marin in the final.
Sindhu fought hard to win the first game 19-21, but Marin then brought her aggression to the fore, taking the last two games 21-12, 21-15 to win gold for her country, and handing Sindhu yet another final loss.
Photo courtesy: PV Sindhu's Facebook page