The 19-year-old from Gwangju, South Korea took just over 30 minutes to end PV Sindhu's hopes of a second year-end title with a 21-16, 21-12 win.
South Korean teenager An Seyoung beat Indian shuttler PV Sindhu in the final of the BWF World Tour Finals. On Sunday, the 19-year-old from Gwangju took just over 30 minutes to end Sindhu’s hopes of a second year-end title, with a 21-16, 21-12 win. With the World Tour Finals title this weekend, the Korean becomes only the second women’s singles player in history, after Ratchanok Intanon, to win three titles in a row. It is also the third time An has beaten Sindhu in as many meetings between the two on the court.
An, who made the South Korean national team at the age of 15, can make opponents fall into her rhythm, a conveyor belt of clears, retrieves, and control. It has the ability to slow down players, defuse attacks, and force errors. The world No. 6, who wore two tapes on her right leg, one above her knee and the other around her shin, reportedly switched her core style of play – from attack to defence – a couple of years ago because she felt a purely offensive game was tiring her out quickly.
On Sunday, Sindhu got off to a shaky start, as An took an early lead. An’s anticipation was never off key, inching sideways to await Sindhu’s cross court drives. The Indian probed An’s backhand defence and managed to string together a string of points near the end of the first game, doing exactly what An dislikes – pushing the pace and picking the shuttle early.
Sindhu scored two early points in the second game after taking a cue from an animated coach Park Tae Sang at the break to increase her aggression. Sindhu began to slip after the first six points, with a weak backhand lift, a cross court slice that landed untouched on her forehand side, and an undercooked smash that found the net. She’d lost the first game, was down 9-16 in the second, and was at a crossroads. After a poor forehand lift from Sindhu, An let out a joyful squeal and held up her arms.
“An is a good player…I shouldn’t have given her the lead from the beginning. I tried to cover a few points but had I controlled it from the start it may have changed a few things…It’s a bit sad. I’ve lots to learn,” Sindhu said after the game.
An invited Sindhu to share the winner’s podium for the cameras. The Korean could be doing it all over again in two weeks, in a title Sindhu will be defending.