PV Sindhu came out with a stupendous performance to oust Japanese fifth seed Akane Yamaguchi and enter the women’s singles semi-finals of the $400,000 Hong Kong Open Superseries badminton tournament .
On Thursday, Sindhu was the only Indian singles player not to have exited the competition, with compatriots Saina Nehwal, H. S. Prannoy and others having lost their respective matches. Sindhu won her second-round contest against Japan’s Aya Ohori.
Second seed Sindhu outplayed the fifth seed Japanese 21-12, 21-19 in a match which lasted 37 minutes. It was Sindhu’s fourth win over the Japanese in their six meetings.
Sindhu was in supreme form and maintained the lead from the start of the first game. The 20-year-old Japanese wasn’t able to match her opponent’s strokes and the Hyderabadi was able to close the game with ease in 15 minutes.From 18-12, Sindhu won three consecutive points to move within a game from the semi-finals.
Sindhu again took a 3-0 lead in the second game and was looking to replicate what she did in the opener. But Akane wasn’t going to give in that easily.
The Japanese fought back with some brilliant smashes and displayed her agility to up the ante. The competition was neck and neck with neither giving the other any room.But significantly at 8-all, Akane found legs to win five straight points and take a 13-8 lead.This was the time when Sindhu showed pure grit to slowly close the gap and levelled the contest at as late as 18-all. In her eagerness to close the game, Akane made a few net errors which gave the Indian extra motivation to try and win more points.
The 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist will next face former World Champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the last-four clash on Saturday. Sixth seed Ratchanok beat Canadian Michelle Li 21-14, 21-16 in 39 minutes in the other quarterfinal.
It will be a tough contest for the 22-year-old Sindhu, who has a poor 1-4 record against the former World No.1 Thai. Also, this will be their first meeting this year.
full detail of tournament –