India's badminton queen PV Sindhu had to settle for silver at the 2018 Asian Games after being beaten by World No. 1 Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying 21-13, 21-16 in the women's singles final on Tuesday.
PV Sindhu recent loss adds to her dismal head-to-head record, in which the Chinese Taipei shuttler seems to enjoy a better measure of 10 wins over her Indian arch-rival, who has a mere three wins to her name.
However, the loss had a silver lining to it, with this being India's second badminton medal at the 2018 Asian Games, after Saina Nehwal became the first Indian since Syed Modi in 1982 to win a medal in the singles event at the Asian Games and ended the country's 36-year medal drought. Saina returned with bronze after she was handed a 17-21, 14-21 straight-games loss by eventual gold medal winner Tzu Ying in the semi-final clash.
It is a historic day for Indian sports, as the 23-year-old PV Sindhu not only became the first Indian to reach the final of the Asian Games badminton singles event, but also became the first Indian shuttler to win a silver in the history of the continental showpiece.
While many fans would've hoped for a gold medal, but there is no doubt that PV Sindhu will still remain India's badminton queen despite her loss. Let us take a look at her path-breaking journey at the 2018 Asian Games which ultimately resulted in a silver medal:
Round of 32: PV Sindhu (World Rank 3) beats Vu Thi Trang (World Rank 54)
PV Sindhu survived an early scare after edging Vietnam's Vu Thi Trang 21-10, 12-21, 23-21 in a thrilling encounter which lasted for 58 minutes. In the first game, Sindhu dominated proceedings from the start as she took the first game. However, her opponent sprung an incredible comeback to take the third game.
After the first two games, the third game witnessed a see-saw affair. Nerves seemed to have got to both players as the game headed for a nerve-wracking finish at 19-19. But. Sindhu showed her class to prevail over her opponent and progress to the next round.
Round of 16: PV Sindhu (World Rank 3) beats Tunjung Gregoria Mariska (World Rank 22)
After a grueling first match, PV Sindhu's next encounter was relatively a one-sided affair. Sindhu dominated right from the start and left no chance for the Indonesian to sway back into the contest.
The 19-year old Mariska showed glimpses of her skill with her backhand flicks and reverse slices, but it wasn't enough to threaten the Indian, who made light work of her opponent 21-12, 21-15, in a clash that lasted 34 minutes.
Quarterfinals: PV Sindhu (World Rank 3) beats Jindapool Nitchaon (World Rank 11)
Sindhu's passage to the semi-finals wasn't going to be easy with Thailand's Jindapool Nitchaon standing as the biggest obstacle. Sindhu had to endure a hard-fought 21-11, 16-21, 21-14 victory to assure herself of a medal at the 2018 Asian Games.
Sindhu took the first game without breaking much sweat, but was seen decimated by her opponent in the second game. However, in the decider, Sindhu made a strong comeback to run away with a win in an encounter that lasted 61 minutes.
Semifinals: PV Sindhu (World Rank 3) beats Akane Yamaguchi (World Rank 2)
The Indian shuttler faced stiff resistance against her Japanese opponent, Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 to cement her spot in the final of the Women's Singles Event at the Asian Games.
In the semi-final clash which lasted one hour six minutes, Sindhu began proceedings on a sluggish note conceding an early lead due to some unforced errors. However, she was quick to recover and take control of the first game.
Sindhu's failure to control her increasing error count helped the Japanese gain momentum and tilted the tie in her favour. In the decider, Sindhu was made to toil hard by her opponent. After surviving a sensational 50-shot rally, the Indian ace finished things in style as she got the better of the Japanese 21-10.
Finals: PV Sindhu (World Rank 3) lost to Tai Tzu Ying (World Rank 1)
Tai Tzu Ying looked in complete control of the game right from the start, while Sindhu was pushed onto the back foot. Tai resorted to some aggressive hitting and deceptive strokes which made it difficult for Sindhu to counter.
With Tai taking the first game, Sindhu tried changing her approach in the second game by pushing her opponent on the baseline. But in the process lost many points due to unforced errors.
Sindhu was seen staring down the barrel with her Chinese Taipei opponent looking relentless. The Rio Olympic medalist had to settle for the white metal yet again after been handed a drubbing in the summit clash which lasted 34 minutes.