PV Sindhu Stages Epic Comeback to Reach Malaysia Masters Final

This victory marks a significant milestone for Sindhu, as it represents her first BWF World Tour final appearance in over a year since the Spain Masters.

Indian badminton star PV Sindhu displayed exceptional grit and determination to secure a thrilling comeback victory over Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the Malaysia Masters Super 500 semifinals. Despite boasting a dominant 17-1 head-to-head record against Busanan, Sindhu was pushed to the limit in an 88-minute battle, ultimately prevailing 13-21, 21-16, 21-13.

The Victory

This victory marks a significant milestone for Sindhu, as it represents her first BWF World Tour final appearance in over a year, since the Spain Masters in April 2023. Notably, her last tournament win came at the Singapore Open in July 2022, where she coincidentally defeated the same opponent, Wang Zhi Yi of China, who now awaits her in the Malaysia Masters final.

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The Contest

Both players entered the semifinal following hard-fought quarterfinal matches that went the full three games. However, neither displayed any signs of fatigue as they maintained a high-octane pace throughout the encounter. Busanan, in excellent form, employed a strategic approach, forcing Sindhu to cover the entire court with deft flicks to accumulate points. Sindhu initially struggled to counter this tactic, leaving Busanan’s backcourt floaters unattended, resulting in a significant deficit at the first game interval (9-11). Busanan capitalized on Sindhu’s errors, extending her lead and comfortably claiming the first game 21-13.

Also Read: The Legacy of PV Sindhu: Undermining the Badminton World

The Plan

Facing the potential threat of a first-ever loss to Busanan, Sindhu adopted a more defensive strategy in the second game. Her improved retrieving skills allowed her to stay in rallies and eventually edge ahead (11-9) at the mid-game interval.  Mirroring Busanan’s tactics from the first game, Sindhu strategically moved her opponent around the court and unleashed powerful cross-court smashes to gain control.  Her improved net play and precise lifts kept Busanan under pressure, leading to a dominant 21-16 victory and forcing a deciding third game.

The Endurance

By this point, the intense match had taken its toll on Busanan. The Thai player displayed visible signs of fatigue, while Sindhu, who had declared peak physical fitness before the match, maintained her relentless pace.  Capitalizing on Busanan’s decline, Sindhu surged to a commanding 8-2 lead in the third game.  Her energetic rallies and powerful smashes rattled her opponent, forcing Busanan into numerous errors.  Despite a brief resurgence from Busanan (10-13), Sindhu displayed exceptional court coverage and a diverse arsenal of shots – smashes, lifts, and drops – to counter every Busanan attack.  This comprehensive display proved too much for the Thai player, as Sindhu sealed the victory with a final score of 13-21, 21-16, 21-13.

Also Read: Sindhu Storms into Malaysia Masters Semis with Gritty Win Over Han Yue

The Win

While her celebrations were understandably subdued due to the grueling match, Sindhu’s achievement holds immense significance.  Reaching her first final in over a year is a positive indicator of her form heading towards the Paris Olympics.  Moreover, maintaining peak physical fitness throughout this demanding contest is a testament to her dedication and training. The upcoming final against Wang Zhi Yi presents another opportunity for Sindhu to showcase her prowess and potentially claim her first BWF title in over 20 months.

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