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Indonesia Open Badminton: Sindhu avenges two straight losses by beating local favourite Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in first round

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PV Sindhu overturned losses in her last two encounters against Gregoria Mariska Tunjung to hand the Indonesian a 21-19, 21-15 defeat at her home event at the Indonesia Open World Tour Super 1000. Playing at Jakarta’s iconic Istora, Sindhu gave a commanding performance as she stayed solid and attacking, winning in 38 minutes.

Tunjung had beaten Sindhu earlier at the Spain Masters and last month in the semis of the Malaysia Masters, using her prominent deceptive skills. But on Tuesday, the Indonesian was severely error-prone from both ends of the court, even as the Indian stayed steady and ramped up the attack after winning the opening game 21-19.

Catching the shuttle early and higher too, Sindhu gave vent to her attacking instincts, even as Tunjung piled up errors, often hitting wide attempting cross-winners. Trailing 10-8, Sindhu went on a run of five straight points, refusing to be dominated like their last two matches. Though Tunjung’s drop shots helped her level at 14-14, Sindhu was anticipating better on the day, and covering more ground in solid defence. The Indian would race ahead 19-15, and parry off Tunjung’s challenge to bag the opener.

In the second, Tunjung was just far too submerged in errors to get close to mounting a fightback, and Sindhu played some steep smashes to stub out any challenge the Indonesian might have posed. It took her career head to head to 8-2, but importantly stemmed the trend of losses.

“I was more prepared than the previous two defeats. I was able to anticipate in the forecourt and backcourt, and was able to cover the corners better. Previously, I made easy mistakes. Not anymore,” Sindhu would tell the local media later at the Super 1000 tournament.

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