HSBC BWF World Tour Finals : Pusarla's Finest Moment
Pusarla V Sindhu achieved a career peak as she became the first Indian winner of the season finale at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals 2018 in Guangzhou, China.
Pusarla’s 21-19 21-19 triumph in the Women’s Singles final over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara was special as it came at the end of a year in which she won no title, having stumbled at the final hurdle of four tournaments including the TOTAL BWF World Championships and the Asian Games.
That, combined with the fact that she was runner-up at the Rio Olympics 2016, the World Championships 2017 and the Dubai World Superseries Finals 2017, meant she was carrying heavy baggage into today’s final – against the player who beat her in the epic World Championships final in Glasgow last year.
An emotional Pusarla savoured the feeling of winning the biggest title of her career.
“I’m really proud. The year has ended on a beautiful note. People have been asking me the same question. Why I always lose in the final. Now I can say I won the gold and I’m proud of it. I think the question won’t come again,” she said.
“It’s a special tournament for me because I won all my group matches and the semifinals and the final. I have no words.”
In the Men’s Singles, it was Shi Yuqi’s day as he celebrated the biggest victory of his career, reversing the result of the World Championships final against Japan’s Kento Momota 21-12 21-11.
Momota suffered his worst defeat this year, going down in rather abject fashion to Shi Yuqi, who he had beaten in three previous matches. It was his third loss in a final this year.
“I’m thrilled as I’d never beaten Momota and to do it on this stage is very special. To come through a strong group and then to win the title is very special,” said Shi Yuqi.
His vanquished opponent offered no excuses, admitting he had been taken aback by Shi’s attack in the beginning.
“His smashes were fierce and accurate. I had no time to react. My opponents have been studying my style. Maybe he was better prepared.”
World champions Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen added the season finale to their trophy cabinet, conquering Hiroyuki Endo/Yuta Watanabe 21-15 21-11 in Men’s Doubles, while Wang Yilyu and Huang Dongping of China took the Mixed Doubles title, defeating their teammates Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong 23-21 16-21 21-18.
Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi spared Japan’s blushes resisting a challenge from Korea's Lee So Hee and Shin Seung Chan to prevail 21-12 22-20 in Women’s Doubles.
The HSBC BWF World Tour Finals is the signature event of the season for which only the cream of the crop qualifies.
Players shared a total prize pool of US$1.5 million.
HSBC BWF WORLD TOUR FINALS
Women’s Singles Champion
Pusarla V Sindhu (India)
Mixed Doubles Champion
Wang Yilyu/Huang Dongping (China)
Shi Yuqi (China)
Misaki Matsutomo/Ayaka Takahashi (Japan)
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Li Junhui/Liu Yuchen (China)