PV Sindhu beats Japan’s Sayaka Sato in opening round of 2017 Crown Group Australian Badminton Open

Women’s Singles

India’s PV Sindhu was given a scare in her opening round of the women’s singles, dropping the second set to Japan’s Sayaka Sato, before eventually recovering in the third to win 21-17 14-21 21-18. Sindhu, the 2016 Olympic silver medallist lost her momentum during the second game, and Sato was able to capitalise on a series of unforced errors.

“I should have finished it off in the second game,” Sindhu said.

“I was leading and I was confident but I think that I made too many errors from my side. I was very nervous about what to do because nothing was going right. I was leading 13-11 and then she was 17-13. I was blank and I couldn’t get points after that.”

The third set played out with long rallies, Sato’s signature style, but Sindhu was able to put regain her momentum and close out the match.

“In the break I was thinking about the second game but my coach told me, it’s over ”“ you shouldn’t think about it and be prepared for the third set. So I went onto the court that way.”

The biggest shock came later in the night however, when world number 2 and reigning Olympic Champion Carolina Marin was defeated in two games by Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, ranked 12th in the world.

The top ranked women’s singles player Tai Tzu Ying made short work of Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour, winning in 21-18 21-11 in 33 minutes. The defending Australian Open champion Saina Nehwal of India who is unseeded, cruised through her opening match, taking down the world number 5 Sung Ji Hyun of Korea (21-10 21-16).

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