Zhiyi pulls off amazing fightback to deny Sindhu the title

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese shuttler Wang Zhiyi (pic) pulled off a stunning comeback victory over India’s P.V. Sindhu to capture the women’s singles title in the Malaysian Masters.

World No. 7 Zhiyi was trailing 3-11 in the third game in the final but refused to give up and came back to win 16-21, 21-5, 21-16 in 79 minutes at the Axiata Arena in Bukit Jalil yesterday.

It was the 24-year-old’s maiden victory over 2019 world champion Sindhu after losing in both her previous encounters in the 2022 All-England and Singapore Open.

Zhiyi was delighted to come away with the hard-fought win.

“In the third game, the draught was quite strong on my side of the court,” said Zhiyi.

“After switching sides, it was easier for me to control the shuttle. I didn’t want to give up and kept believing in myself. I was just focusing on each point and didn’t think about winning.

“My game was quite stable and my strategy worked. I’m so happy to win this title.”

It was Zhiyi’s third title this year after she won the Indonesian Masters in January and the Asian Championships in April.

It was a memorable win for the Chinese, who proved herself in the absence of teammate and world No. 2 Chen Yufei.

“This win is very meaningful to me as I managed to show that China’s women’s singles are capable of winning titles in the absence of Yufei.

“Beating Sindhu also gives me a lot of confidence for my next tournaments.”

Meanwhile, it was disappointment for Sindhu, who had hoped to win her first title since capturing the 2022 Singapore Open.

“I’m very disappointed that I could not win after having a big lead,” said Sindhu.

“Both of us were losing on one side of the court. There were many long rallies and there were no easy points.

“Despite this defeat, I need to take the positives from my overall performance.”

In the men’s doubles, Denmark’s Kim Astrup-Anders Skaarup Rasmussen won their first title of the year after beating South Korea’s Jin Yong-Na Sung-seung 21-18, 21-14.

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