PV Sindhu settled for a silver medal in the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta after losing the final of Taiwan’s Tai Tzu Ying. Even as Sindhu could not win the gold medal, she became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the Games.
Sindhu outplayed for the six straight time by Tai Tzu as the Taiwanese toyed with the Indian star with absolute ease. Tai Tzu glided on the court, decepted Sindhu to perfection and raced to the title in just 34 minutes.
In a matter of a little over half an hour, Tzi Tzu had defeated Sindhu 21-13, 21-16.
Despite the absolute dominance of Tai Tzu, Sindhu insisted that the Taiwanese is not unbeatable and all they have to is work harder on their skills.
“There is not a huge gap. We just have to be prepared and ready, definitely we are going to break that (losing streak). It’s not easy but if we work on our mistakes, we can do it,” Sindhu said.
Sindhu denied that she has a mental block when it comes to finals and said she could have done better had she been more patient.
“There is no mental block, but sometimes you make mistakes and give her a huge lead. You have to keep going, stick to that. I gave her easy points.
“If I had played patiently and kept the shuttle in, it could have been different. It was not easy to take points from her because her defence was also good.”
Tai Tzu’s women’s singles victory meant a first singles gold medal in badminton at the Asian Games for Taiwan and en route to that, she outclassed both Sindhu and Saina Nehwal. In fact, Sindhu and compatriot Saina Nehwal have lost 22 matches between them to Tai Tzu.
The last time Sindhu got the better of Tai Tzu was at the Rio Olympics. Asked how different Tai is playing compared to the Rio Games, Sindhu said, “She has improved in her strokes, deception. If we work on those, things might change.
“She is a deceptive player. It was not very tough to take those (shots), if you keep the shuttle in, she tends to make mistakes and definitely not very tough to beat.”
Saina had yesterday described Tai as a complete player and Sindhu too echoed similar views.
“She does not tend to make rallies and has good strokes. Japanese play rallies, Tai is different,” she said.
The 23-year-old from Hyderabad has now lost three major finals this year — CWG, World Championship and Asian Games but says she did not feel any pressure before the final.
“I felt no pressure. The result is ok but important is to give your 100 per cent and the result showed it. That’s all what I felt. Overall it was good tournament,” Sindhu said.
It was Sindhu’s 10th final loss but India chief coach Pullela Gopichand firmly put his weight behind his ward.
“At the end of the day, all want gold medal but there is enough to be proud of. We always had sceptics, who will say what they have to. Hopefully we will reverse that,” he said.
Talking about the 24-year-old Tai, Gopichand said, “There is deception, power, speed and reach. She has a combination of everything. She is deceptive but she is powerful, she can run. There is endurance. That’s what together, makes her good.”
Meanwhile, a Chinese Taipei coach revealed that they do not have any professional set up for badminton back home and players mostly play in their respective clubs. Only when there is a major championship approaching, a national camp is organized.
He also said that Tai Tzu was supported by authorities because she was number one player in the world and the country expected an Asian Games gold medal from her.