Olympic silver medallist shuttler P V Sindhu defeated world champion Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling summit clash to clinch the women's singles title at the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul on Sunday.
The 22-year-old Indian saw off eighth seed Okuhara 22-20 11-21 20-18 in an energy-sapping contest that lasted an hour and 23 minutes to exact sweet revenge of her heart-wrenching World Championship final loss to the Japanese at Glasgow last month.
Expectations of an epic battle were raised after Sindhu and Okuhara set up a summit clash for the second time in little over three weeks since they had fought for an hour and 50 minutes in one of the greatest women's singles matches in the World Championships final last month.
Today's summit clash also turned out to be another electrifying contest as Sindhu displayed great stubbornness to lay claim to her third super series title of her career.
World no. 4 Sindhu, who had clinched the 2016 China Super Series Premier and India Open Super Series and Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold this season, thus dashed Okuhara's bid to win her third straight title after winning the Australian Open and the World Championships.
The win also helped Sindhu to level her head-to-head record against Okuhara, making it 4-4 in eight meetings. (PTI)
PV Sindhu wins the match 22-20, 11-21, 21-18.
With this win, Sindhu will jump a place to number four in the Destination Dubai rankings.
12:29 pm IST - Okuhara refuses to give up Sindhu looks totally exhausted but is one point away from her third Superseries title.
12:25 pm IST - Sindhu and Okuhara produce a stunning 56-shot rally and both are on the ground. Sindhu won that rally at the Worlds and she wins this won too.
Sindhu leads 20-17.
12:20 pm IST - PV Sindhu is just 3 points away from the title.
12:16 pm IST - Okuhara is making Sindhu work hard. 15-13 Sindhu.
12:12 pm IST - Okuhara is not giving up and Sindhu is trying to run away with it. 14-9 Sindhu.
12:09 pm IST - Bad timing from Sindhu and Okuhara gets a point. Sindhu not happy. Sindhu leads 13-9.
12:07 pm IST - Sindhu bounces back and how. She has won 6 of the last 7 points and takes a lead of 11-5 over Okuhara.
12:03 pm IST - Some sloppy play from Okuhara. 4-4.
12:01 pm IST - The deciding game is underway and Okuhara took an early lead of 3-2.
11:57 am IST - PV Sindhu loses the second game 11-21 to Nozomi Okuhara. It's 1-1 now!
11:51 am IST - Okuhara dominating with her net game. She leads 14-8
11:47 am IST - Okuara and Sindhu engage in a 31 shot rally. Okuhara leads 11-6.
11:43 am IST - Okuara with an early lead in the second game. Sindhu fighting back. 7-4 Okuhara
11:38 am IST - Game 2 begins, Okuhara leads 2-1.
11:35 am IST - Four straight points and PV Sindhu wins the opening game 22-20.
11:29 am IST - What a rally
42 shots! Sindhu 17-17 Okuhara
11:24 am IST - 14-14! As expected, it's turning out to be a close battle between Sindhu & Okuhara in the opening game.
11:20 am IST - Slight advantage to Okuhara. She leads Sindhu 11-9 at break in first game.
11:15 am IST - An unforced error from Sindhu. 7-7.
11:13 am IST - Okuhara has been struggling at the net so far. Sindhu leads 7-5.
11:11 am IST - Sindhu leads 3-2.
11:08 am IST - Sindhu to serve first.
Sindhu wins the opening point.
11:05 am IST - This is Sindhu's 4th appearance at the Korean Open but she never made it past the 2nd round.
11:00 am IST - The men's singles final is over. Time for PVSindhu to take centre stage!
Okuhara has won four of her seven matches against Sindhu over the course of their careers.
New Delh: PV Sindhu takes on Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the final of the Korean Super Series.
It is the first time Sindhu has reached the finals in Korea and the second time this year that she faces Okuhara.
They had previously faced off in an epic BWF World Championship final that the Japanese won 19-21, 22-20, 20-22.
It was a match that lasted 110 minutes and included a rally that had a whopping 73 shots.
Both players were spent at the end of it although Sindhu came out with the point. But Okuhara held her own and came out on top at the end of the third game to take the World Championship title.
It was the first time that Sindhu won a silver at the World Championship but she will be looking to make an improvement on that when she faces Okuhara once again, this time in Seoul.