Celebrated shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday became the first-ever Indian shuttler to win the BWF World Championships. Playing in her third successive final, the 24-year-old from Hyderabad destroyed Japanese Nozomi Okuhara in straight games, 21-17 21-7 at Basel, Switzerland. Sindhu, who has been in a supreme form throughout the tournament, took just 38 minutes to beat the third-seeded Okuhara in front of a packed Indian crowd. She thus became only the second women shuttler in the history of the sport to win five World Championships medal, beside Chinese doubles legend Zhao Yunlei. Here are the highlights of the 2019 BWF World Championships Women's Singles final match between Nozomi Okuhara and PV Sindhu.
18:34 hrs IST: Lets see what the Sindhu fans have to say after such a fantastic victory for the Indian shuttler:
World Champion #PVSindhu ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂ°. Congrats ðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂðÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂÂGOLDEN girl— Gopi ko (@77_gopi) August 25, 2019
ðÂÂÂÂ¥ÂÂÂÂ PV SINDHU WINS GOLD! ðÂÂÂÂ¥ÂÂÂÂ
She becomes the first-ever Indian to bag the gold medal at the #BWFWorldChampionships after defeating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in straight sets by 21-7, 21-7. #PVSindhu #BWFWorldChampionships2019 pic.twitter.com/ljIfvrzae3
18:17 hrs IST: It was a wonderful game, which saw Sindhu just simply blaze past her opponent with such ease! The power and determination she displayed in those 38-minutes was just too much to handle for Okuhara.
PV Sindhu wins her maiden World Championships gold medal.
Nozomi Okuhara 7-21, 7-21 PV Sindhu
18:09 hrs IST: SHE HAS DONE IT!!
And ladies and gentlemen, Sindhu finally wins the BWF World Championships women's singles gold medal!
Nozomi Okuhara 7 - 21 PV Sindhu: Game 1 | 7-21, 7-21
18:09 hrs IST: CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! OKUHARA FALLS AGAIN!! WHAT A POWERFUL SMASH FROM SINDHU!!
Okuhara is looking completely out of sorts here.
Nozomi Okuhara 6 - 19 PV Sindhu: Game 1 | 7-21
18:03 hrs IST: WOW! COMPLETE GENIUS! SINDHU IS ON FIRE!
Sindhu just sends Okuhara down to the ground! What a wonderful smash! The Japanese tries to hit but fails!
Nozomi Okuhara 4 - 15 PV Sindhu: Game 1 | 7-21
17: 59 hrs IST: Another one for Sindhu! The fans are really behind her, and it looks like there many Indians present in Basel too!
Nozomi Okuhara 4 - 10 PV Sindhu | Game 1: 7-21
17:57 hrs IST: Wonderful shot by Sindhu. She is using her height to her advantage, and unleashes a venomous shot from the backcourt which just blazes right next to her opponent!
Nozomi Okuhara 2 - 8 PV Sindhu | Game 1: 7-21
17:55 hrs IST: Its a cautious start to the second game. But Sindhu is still her aggressive self, and she was way too powerful in the first one. She gets another point! A wonderful smash, which Okuhara deflects it towards the net.
Nozomi Okuhara 2 - 5 PV Sindhu | Game 1: 7-21
17:50 hrs IST: What a first game! Sindhu just blazes past Okuhara, with a final smash which just turns out to be too much for the Japanese, who fumbles it out.
Nozomi Okuhara 7 - 21 PV Sindhu
17:45 hrs IST: Sindhu again! Okuhara is just gifting away the first set to her opponent. She needs to change her approach.
It looks like Sindhu is on her way to win the first set now.
Nozomi Okuhara 4 - 18 PV Sindhu
17:43 hrs IST: Sindhu frustrates her opponent once again! Okuhara is trying to change the speed of her game, but her opponnent defies her once again.
The Japanese shuttler is not having it her way in this match, with a mishit shot, which gives the Indian another point.
Nozomi Okuhara 2 - 14 PV Sindhu
17:39 hrs IST: Wonderful shot by Sindhu! The tall Indian is being way to brutal, and is just blazing past her opponent!
What a barrage of powerful smashes!
Nozomi Okuhara 2 - 11 PV Sindhu
17:38 hrs IST: Sindhu has taken an early lead, and is surging forward. Okuhara looks a little tired and still needs some time to get into the game. The Indian has come with a rather stong approach to this game.
Nozomi Okuhara 1 - 8 PV Sindhu
17:35 hrs IST: Sindhu is looking good, and seems to be determined to make use of every possible point. She didn't have a good start to 2019, but recently she looks to have found her footing.
PV Sindhu 4 - 1 Nozomi Okuhara
17: 33 hrs IST: They begin with a rally of 22 shots, with Okuhara getting the first point. Sindhu knows that she needs to win some early points, otherwise it could be tougher to win the match.
17:32 hrs IST: This is also the 16th meeting them. As we already mentioned, Sindhu leads with 8-7 head-to-head record.
Sindhu to serve first.
17:30 hrs IST: Born in Hyderabad, Sindhu will be hoping to defeat her opponent, who just like the Japanese has a best ranking of world no. 2.
17:29 hrs IST: Both players are practicing some rallies, getting used to the court and their surrounding before the match begins.
17:28 hrs IST: Nozomi Okuhara enters Court 1, followed by PV Sindhu.
Sindhu will surely want to win this match, or could it be third time unlucky? In the 2017 final, she lost to Okuhara, and in 2018 to Carolina Marin.
17:19 hrs IST: The women's doubles final was a three-match thriller, can we expect the women's singles to also be the same?
A repeat of the finals from two years ago in Glasgow, we can expect another fiery clash between two of the best shuttlers in the world!
17:14 hrs IST: Hopefully Sindhu keeps her nerves and plays her natural style then we can expect her to edge past Okuhara. She will need to keep her calm throughout and also prevent some unforced errors, Okuhara could punish her. Winning the first few points and keeping the momentum with a variety of shots could be key to the Indian ace winning the match.
17:08 hrs IST: Sindhu is up next against Okuhara, two rivals who have played against each other since 2012, with the Indian edging past in terms of head-to-head.
Can the Indian ace shuttler win her first BWF World Championship title? Or will it be another silver medal for her?
17:05 hrs IST: Women's Doubles Finals Update | Defending champions Matsumoto/Nagahara have defeated Fukushima/Hirota in a three-game thriller (21-11, 20-22, 23-21).
16:52 hrs IST: Then in their very next match on November 2014 in the Hong Kong Open, Okuhara defeated Sindhu in another epic match (21-17, 13-21, 21-11).
16:50 hrs IST: Here is some trivia for all of you. Okuhara and Sindhu played their first-ever match on July 2012 in the Badminton Asia Youth U-19 Championship.
It was a close encounter, which saw the Japanese lose to the Indian shuttler (21-18, 17-21, 20-22).
16:46 hrs IST: In the ongoing women's doubles match, Matsumoto/Nagahara are currently leading against Fukushima/Hirota in the third game (21-11, 20-22, 11-9).
16:44 hrs IST: Although Sindhu is leading in terms of head-to-head against Okuhara, she still knows that it is going to be a very tough match. She will be tested to her limits and will need full concentration. God knows! It could again be another two-hour thriller!
16:38 hrs IST: We were talking about Pullela Gopichand earlier. He was pretty honest, when asked about his role as the national head coach. He said, "Unfortunately in India, we don’t follow a system. The role of a chief national coach is purely ornamental. Badminton may be an individual sport but it’s not necessary that training has to be individualistic."
"China, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Denmark are training individual athletes in a team-like environment. We don’t," he further added.
16:33 hrs IST: What a dramatic second game!
In the ongoing women's doubles match, Matsumoto/Nagahara have been held back by Fukushima/Hirota (21-11, 20-22), with the match going into the third game.
Complete end-to-end action!
16:25 hrs IST: Sindhu and Okuhara have had some epic matches. In the 2017 World Championships final, the Japanese had to fight for 2 hours and then finally beat her rival. We should expect another titanic final today!
16:19 hrs IST: A lot is expected from Sindhu, also an Olympic silver medallist. She has been in good form, but has faltered in some big matches. But come 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she is expected to win the gold medal for India.
Outlook spoke to Pullela Gopichand sometime back, and asked about India's chances in badminton in the upcoming Olympics. He said, "Sindhu and Saina are our best bets in women’s singles. Both should qualify easily. In men’s singles, we will have to wait and see how things go. India haven’t had a great year so far but Kidambi Srikkanth is capable of producing good results."
"In men’s doubles, the team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (they stunned world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 in Thailand) will shape up well and gives India an outside chance of a medal. First, we must try and get as many berths as possible for Tokyo. Once there, anything can happen", he further added.
16:16 hrs IST: Elsewhere in the women's doubles final, Matsumoto/Nagahara are currently behind after winning the first set against Fukushima/Hirota (21-11, 8-12).
16:12 hrs IST: Replying to Kashyap's comment, Saina also expressed her disappointment over the umpiring decisions. She tweeted, "still can’t believe 2 match points which the umpire overruled in the second game . And the umpire tells me in the mid of second game “let the line umpires do their job” and I dnt understand suddenly how the umpire overruled the match points..very sick".
still can’t believe 2 match points which the umpire overruled in the second game . And the umpire tells me in the mid of second game “let the line umpires do their job” and I dnt understand suddenly how the umpire overruled the match points..very sick @bwfmedia @HSBCBWF https://t.co/1p4PP4yXzc— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) August 23, 2019
16:06 hrs IST: Sindhu's compatriot Saina Nehwal lost in the pre-quarterfinals against World No.12 Mia Blichfeldt (21-15, 25-27, 12-21).
The second game was pretty controversial for Nehwal, which saw 52 points being played. She had two match points while also saving five-game points.
After the match, Parupalli Kashyap took to Twitter and said, "2 match-points snatched away by bad umpiring . And numerous wrong decisions . Unbelievable that there are no reviews on other courts at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. When will our sport get better ? SICK."
2 match-points snatched away by bad umpiring . And numerous wrong decisions . Unbelievable that there are no reviews on other courts at the WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS. When will our sport get better ? SICK @bwfmedia @HSBCBWF @NSaina #feelingcheated #totalbwfworldchampionships2019— Parupalli Kashyap (@parupallik) August 23, 2019
16:01 hrs IST: Elsewhere in the women's doubles final, Matsumoto/Nagahara have won the first set against Fukushima/Hirota.
Sindhu will play against Okuhara after this match.
15:47 hrs IST: Many badminton across the world think PV Sindhu is among the best in the world right now. She has a huge fan following too and is also one of the highest-paid female athletes. But her coach Kim Ji Hyun thinks that the Indian shuttler still has a long way to go.
Speaking to the world badminton website, she said, "The way she plays, I feel it’s not smart enough. I mean, at the top level, you have to be smart. It has to be a combination, like your technique, and hitting and mentality. There are so many skills she has to work on, especially net skills and deception. Step by step. We’re working on skills, and changing tactics, as you can’t use the same tactics over and over again".
15:32 hrs IST: In the semis, Sindhu faced China's Chen Yu Fei. The back-to-back silver medalist beat the Yu Fei; 21-7, 21-14.
Meanwhile, Okuhara showed grit and determination in her win against Ratchanok Intanon in the semis; 17-21, 21-18, 21-15. An exciting match awaits us!
15:23 hrs IST: The last time PV Sindhu met Nozomi Okuhara was during the Indonesia Open on July 19, 2019. The Japanese shuttler lost to the Indian; 14-21, 17-21.
15:07 hrs IST: Hello and welcome to Outlook's live coverage of the BWF World Championships women's singles final between PV Sindhu and the 2017 champion Nozomi Okuhara.