Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu on Saturday defeated Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in straight games to reach the final of the Hong Kong Super Series tournament, after the final score read 21-17, 21-17.
At the end of her semi-final match against PV Sindhu at the Hong Kong Super series, Intanon Ratchanok was out of options and ideas .Last year’s finalist, Sindhu moved well and seemed always ready for the shuttle. She dominated the front court, defended well and maintained her attack to outclass the World Number 6 .It was their sixth meeting and Sindhu was lagging behind 1-4 in the head-to-head count. The only time the Indian had beaten Intanon was at the 2015 Korea Open when the match went to the decider.
Sindhu’s victory ensured a repeat of last year’s final where the Indian lost to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The world No.1 defeated Ji Hyun Sung of South Korea 21-9, 18-21, 21-7 in the other last four clash.In the quarterfinals, Sindhu had defeated Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-12, 21-19 to reach the semifinals.Following the summit clash, Sindhu will take part in the Dubai World Super Series finals, starting in December.
Despite playing without rest in the last one and half month, Sindhu looked fresh during the semi-final against Ratchanok. Sindhu came up with a new strategy against the former world champion. Ratchanok is known for hitting powerful drives, deceptive smashes and has the knack of coming back from difficult stages.
Aware of this Sindhu took an early 9-3 lead in the first game. Even as Ratchanok is struggling to adjust to the movement of the shuttle on the court, Sindhu secured a four-point lead (11-7) by the break. Retrieving almost everything from her side, Sindhu commanded the front court with her deceptive placements. Failing to read the flight of the shuttle, Ratchanok hit as many as 10 birds outside the lines giving easy points for Sindhu. Despite trailing 13-20, Ratchanok did not give up and saved four game points before committing an error at the net.
In the second game, Intanon had a 3-1 lead before Sindhu drew parity. An onrushing smash helped Sindhu take a 5-4 lead.
However, two unforced errors again gave the lead back to Intanon. The Thai shuttle then sent a backhand return wide and it was 6-6.
Intanon continued to commit errors, finding it difficult to get the bird away. Sindhu produced another instinctive reactionary stroke to put the shuttle across to move to 10-6 lead with Intanon again going wide.
It was Sindhu who had a healthy advantage at the mid-game breather.
A brilliant forehand defensive return after the break left a stretched Intanon. The Thai player produced a body line smash and returned on Sindhu backhand to grab two points. But the Indian then unleashed a smash to move to 13-9.
Intanon continued to snap at her heels, making it 12-13 with her immaculate placements. A body smash and a controlled deep return from Sindhu helped her to extend the lead to 16- 13.
A magnificent on the line smash was followed by two miscued strokes as Sindhu led 18-14. The Indian faltered with a net return and then Intanon produced a straight smash to make it 16-18.
However, the Thai sent the shuttle out again to give another point to Sindhu.
Intanon grabbed another point with a precise return before she went wide to give match point opportunity to Sindhu, At this stage a line call challenged by Sindhu became successful allowing the Indian to reach to her third Super Series final in 2017.
Sindhu had already won the India Open and Korea Open Super Series titles along with the silver at the World Championships this year.
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