Beiwen Shines in Yonex-Sunrise India Open Victory

Feb. 05, 2018, 12:23 p.m. (ET)

Beiwen Zhang’s moment in the sun came on the back of a courageous, 69-minute humdinger that broke the hearts of local fans at the Yonex-Sunrise Dr. Akhilesh Das Gupta India Open 2018 today.

At the opposite end was defending champion Pusarla V Sindhu, who nearly capped a brilliant late-match fightback to bring the tournament to a climactic end. Down 17-19 in the third, the defending champion showed the tenacity she’s renowned for, producing three winners to have championship point.

Pusarla was on a euphoric spell, riding the energy of the crowd; a fairytale end to the tournament was unfolding for the crowd and it took all of Zhang’s stubbornness and athleticism to break that momentum and extract the two crucial winners at the very end: 21-18 11-21 22-20.

The Women’s Singles battle closed out the 2018 edition of the India Open on an eventful day that saw Indonesia grab two titles (Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles), and China (Men’s Singles), Denmark (Mixed Doubles) and USA one each.

 

Polii/Rahayu Claim Title

The day ended the way it began – with a display of sheer grit. It was grit that saw Indonesia’s Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu close out the Women’s Doubles final 21-18 21-15 against Thailand’s Jongkolphan Kititharakul/Rawinda Prajonjai. The two Indonesians brought their intense physical energy on to the court, constantly seeking openings with jump smashes, and keeping up the intense hard work until a crack appeared at the other end.

The Thais were equal to the task for the most part, and their defensive stonewalling meant that the Indonesians had to work interminably. The Indonesians laid siege and the Thais held their fortress well; with each rally getting progressively longer. The average number of shots per rally in the first game touched 20; incredibly, it just kept getting higher. Early in the second a rally touched 62 shots; then, astonishingly, 106. What worked for the Indonesians was their refusal to let up, and with both Polii and Rahayu shouldering the burden of hitting from the back, the Indonesians were the ones setting the terms.

Finally, when the citadel fell, it all came down rather quickly. The Thais fell from 14-16 to 14-18 thanks to four straight errors, and the Indonesians found that all the spade work paid off handsomely at the very end. It had taken close to an hour for the Indonesians to get hold of their first title of the year.

“We had to have the will to get each point; we tried not to think of the result,” said Polii. “I knew we had to fight all the way, I said to her – ‘you’re still young, you’re still strong’; I tried to boost up our energy to survive the long rallies.

“We know we’re far from achieving our desired results, there are many other tournaments coming up. We want to take this positively and take confidence from this. At the same time, we cannot be satisfied. It’s wonderful to win here.”


Courtesy @beiwen0712 on Instagram

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