PV Sindhu marched into the final of women’s badminton at Rio Olympics by beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight sets (21-19, 21-10). She just punctured the Japanese opponent’s confidence by a series of pin-point smashes and accurate placement. In the finals, she meets world number one Carolina Marín of Spain later today. The whole of India will be glued to their television sets. She will get silver even if she loses the final. But nobody is thinking about silver. Gold is what Sindhu and India are after. You can try online betting and strike gold out of Sindhu’s possible triumph with 12 bet too.
The impressive semi-final performance against Okuhara has raised the hopes of the entire nation. While Sindhu starts the final as the underdog, it will not be an easy fixture for the world number one. Sindhu unleashed smash after smash in the semi final which Okuhara found too hot to handle. She used her height and reach to good effect against the Japanese.
Marín is almost as tall as Sindhu, shorter just by just three inches. She possesses an aggressive attacking game too, unlike Okuhara. Sindhu may find her match in the final; however, if she can get her smashes going, Marín will be in discomfort.
Another factor that will favour Sindhu is the crowd support. Indians outnumbered the Japanese in the semi-final crowd and were quite vociferous in their support. Each of Sindhu’s points was cheered loudly and enthusiastically. One could be forgiven for thinking that the match was being playing in India.
India has won only one bronze in Rio till now. In contrast, Spain has won five gold, two silver and three bronze medals. The Indian supporters will be more desperate.
If you are into online betting for this fixture, analyse these stats carefully and make your move. Sindhu played against Marín seven times, winning three matches and losing the other four matches. Interestingly, Marín has won four of the last five meetings between the two.
Sindhu won the first two fixtures against Marín in 2010 and 2011. She won the first match in straight sets (21-17, 21-19) and the second match in three sets (21-17, 15-21 and 21-13). The next three matches, in 2014 and 2015, went to Marín’s favour. The Spaniard won all three matches comfortably in straight sets. Sindhu broke the streak in Denmark Open in October 2015, where she scored a hard-earned victory of 21-15, 18-21 and 21-17.
The most recent time these two players met was in November 2015 at the Hong Kong Open. Marín emerged victorious 21-17, 21-9 in the match.
You can clearly see that Marín tends to dominate the recent meetings between the two. But Olympics is a different ball game. Sindhu has the momentum after her scintillating semi-final win. It will be up to Marín to stop it.
Sindhu carries the hope of 130 billion people. She will have rousing on-court crowd support too. That should be good enough to see her through.
Photo Credit: indianexpress.com