Already out of reckoning for the semi-finals, defending champions PV Sindhu recorded a consolation win over China’s He Bingjiao in the third Group A match to end her campaign on a positive note at the year-ending BWF World Tour Final in Guangzhou on Friday.
Sindhu, whose title defence officially ended after her second successive loss on Thursday, scripted an incredible turnaround after being 9-18 down in the opening game to eventually outlast Bingjiao 21-19, 21-19 in 42 minutes and finish third in the group.
This win also snapped Sindhu’s run of four straight losses to the Chinese, making their head-to-head record 6-9.
The Indian struggled with her precision initially, allowing Bingjiao to lead 7-3 at one stage in the opening game. The left-handed Chinese cruised to a 11-6 advantage at the break with the Indian misjudging a shuttle.
Sindhu struggled to reign in her errors even after the break, hitting the shuttle wide and long as Bingjiao jumped to a 18-9 lead. At that point there seemed like only one winner in the match.
However, the world champion brought about a massive recovery, rattling off nine straight points to draw parity at 18-18.
Bingjiao managed to break the run of points before a deceptive return to serve took Sindhu to 19-19. The Indian then gathered the remaining two points to edge past Bingjiao in the opening game.
Sindhu carried her momentum in the second game, opening up a 7-3 lead initially and then moving to 11-6 advantage at the interval.
Bingjiao punished the two weak returns from Sindhu but then started committing unforced errors as the Indian lead 15-10. The Chinese soon narrowed the gap to 16-18 before Sindhu won a point after a gruelling rally.
A good judgement at the backline earned Sindhu three match points. Bingjiao saved two before Sindhu sealed it with a smash on the third.
The win brought to an end Sindhu’s 2019 season and she will be next seen in action the Premier Badminton League.