The 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist beat Japanese Nozomi Okuhara 21-19, 21-17 to clinch the title.

PV Sindhu becomes first Indian to win prestigious BWF World Tour FinalsPTI (File)
Sports Badminton Sunday, December 16, 2018 - 13:29

In a grand ending to the calendar year, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu beat Japanese Nozomi Okuhara to win her first BWF World Tour Finals title held in Guangzhou, China on Sunday. This is Sindhu’s 14th tournament title. This victory comes after seven silver medals for the World No 6, starting from the Olympics to the World Championships and the Asian Games in 2018.

Incidentally, Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win a World Tour title. This was also her second final in succession. In a tightly contested match, Sindhu pipped her rival 21-19 and 21-17 in 62 minutes. In the last 12 encounters, both Okuhara and Sindhu have won six times each.

On the way to the finals, Sindhu had defeated former world champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in straight games in the semi-final clash on Saturday in straight sets 21-16, 25-23. The 23-year-old Olympic silver medallist, who has not lost to World No 8 Intanon in the last two years, breezed into the final after quashing her Thai opponent in 54 minutes.

Congratulating Sindhu, former cricket stars VVS Laxman and Virender Sehwag posted messages on Twitter.

Sehwag tweeted, “An amazing way to end the season for @Pvsindhu1 beating Okuhara in the World Tour final in straight sets.”

Laxman tweeted, “Congratulations @Pvsindhu1 on becoming the first Indian to win the BWF World Tour Grand Finals beating @nozomi_o11 21-19, 21-17 in the finals. Fantastic achievement.”

Other than Sindhu, Sameer Verma in the men’s singles was the only Indian contender for the title. Sameer, who holds the 14th position in the BWF rankings, got through to the semi-final after a convincing 21-9, 21-18 win over Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen. But his journey ended in the semi-final round when he conceded defeat to Wimbledon champion Shi Yuqi of China in a three-set match. After winning the first set, he lost the game 21-12, 20-22, 17-21.

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