Sindhu breaks the final jinx

 P V Sindhu
P V Sindhu became the first Indian to win the prestigious season-ending BWF World Tour Finals with a hard-fought 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. AFP
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Ever since the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, P V Sindhu has been the most consistent Indian sportsperson on the world stage. The 23-year-old badminton star, however, found it tough to break the final jinx. She fell at the final hurdle in the 2016 Olympics, World Championships (twice in 2017 and 2018), 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games. There were question marks over her ability to go all the way. But on Sunday in the Chinese City of Guangzhou, Sindhu proved her critics wrong by becoming the first Indian to win the prestigious season-ending BWF World Tour Finals with a hard-fought 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan's Nozomi Okuhara.

Sindhu led from the start and made sure she did not need to play a decider and wrapped up the tie in straight games.

Dream outing

In Guangzhou, Sindhu had a dream outing as she took home the title with an all-win record. She topped a tough group consisting of world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying, world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi and Beiwen Zhang.

The win over Tai Tzu was special as she had lost her previous six encounters to the deceptive Chinese Taipei player. Sindhu had last beaten Tai Tzu at the Rio Olympics.

Sindhu edged out Thai Ratchanok Intanon in the semifinals to set up a title clash with Okuhara. The Japanese had pipped Sindhu in an epic final at the 2017 World Championships, but she was ready for the challenge on Sunday.

The win in a major final means a lot for Sindhu and now with the monkey off her back she can look forward to greater glory in the new year. She had lost in five finals this year. Psychologically, the triumph is a big boost for the Hyderabadi and the pressure will be a tad less on her the next time she plays a final.

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