Jakarta, July 20
Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu enjoyed one of her finest hours of the season as she entered the finals of the Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament with a straight-game win over All England Champion Chen Yufei of China.
Sindhu, who has been struggling a bit this season, saw off world No. 3 Chen 21-19 21-10 to enter her first final of the season. The world No. 5 Indian thus set up a summit clash with Japan’s fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi.
Tai Tzu loses
Yamaguchi beat Tai Tzu Ying 21-9 21-15 in the other semifinal.
Chen, who won at Australia, Switzerland and All England this year, has been the most prolific player this season and looked good in the first game but a fighting Sindhu held her own in the opening game and then completely dominated the second to seal the final spot.
The match started with a long rally but soon Sindhu fell behind at 4-7. The Indian then reeled off five straight points with Chen playing two bad shots but she grabbed a slight 11-10 advantage at the break.
The Indian kept breathing down Chen’s neck and grabbed seven of the last eight points to pocket the opening game. Chen moved to 15-12 but Sindhu fought back and produced a precise return, and then Chen went wide before finding the net as the Indian made it 18-18.
Sindhu caught the shuttle early and produced an acute angled return near the net to grab a one-point lead. But she went wide next and it was 19-19. Another rally ended with Chen failing to clear the net and it was advantage Sindhu.
The Chinese then left one at the backcourt, which landed in, to hand Sindhu the bragging rights.
In the second game, Chen zoomed to 4-0 lead early on. After seven straight points by Sindhu, Chen managed to push one at the back court to break Sindhu’s rhythm.
A whopping smash to Chen’s serve gave another point to Sindhu. After a couple of missed opportunities, Sindhu managed to grab a three-point advantage at the interval with a precise net return. The Chinese found the net and went wide to allow the Indian double her lead to 16-8. Another smash took Sindhu closer and she sealed 11 match points when Chen misjudged a shuttle. A crosscourt smash helped Chen save one but Sindhu wrapped up the contest with another accurate shot, even as the Chinese’s video referral went in vain.
First final of the year
Sindhu said, “It is the first final this year so I hope I do not miss out on the opportunity and can get the gold.”
Talking about the first game, she said, “The points at the end of the first game were very important to me. Even though I was trailing, I did not think it was over. It was 19-19 and I was ready for every point. It was definitely an advantage for me to have taken the first game. In the second game, it was pretty easy.” — Agencies
Chen vs Antonsen in men’s final
- Chou Tien Chen beat Kantaphon Wangcharoen 21-19 18-21 21-16 and Anders Antonsen beat Wong Ki Vincent 21-17 21-10 to set up the men’s final.
India’s campaign ends at Russian Open
Vladivostok: Meghana Jakkampudi lost both the mixed and women’s doubles matches with her respective partners to end India’s campaign at the Russian Open tournament. Meghana and Dhruv Kapila, seeded eighth, went down to the Indonesian seventh seeds Adnan Maulana and Mychelle Crhystine Bandaso 6-21 15-21 in the mixed doubles semifinal in just 27 minutes. Meghana then combined with her women’s doubles partner Poorvisha S Ram, but once again failed to cross the semis hurdle. The top seeded Indian duo was stunned by fourth seeds Japanese Miki Kashihara and Miyuki Kato 10-21 8-21 in a 33-minute contest. — PTI
10-4 The world No. 5 Indian holds a 10-4 advantage over Japan’s fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi, whom she has beaten in the last four meetings