Kowloon: Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu sailed into the semis of the Hong Kong Open after defeating Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Thursday.
Barely a month after losing to Yamaguchi in the French Open, the Hyderabadi shuttler was at her absolute best as she got her revenge, thrashing the in-form Yamaguchi 21-12, 21-19 in a 37-minute clash.
Sindhu was completely taken aback by Yamaguchi during their clash in Paris but this time around, the 22-year-old made Yamaguchi move back and forth in the entire match. In the first game, the Olympic silver medalist raced to a 6-1 lead as she was able to complete those rallies unlike their last encounter. Also, Sindhu was much more patient during the match which undoubtedly helped her cause.
She soon led 11-6 at the break and then went ahead and gained a 18-11 lead before sealing the first game 21-12.
In the second game, Yamaguchi fought back with as she now took a lead at 14-10 and then at 16-12 after Sindhu found it hard to counter the Japanese. But the 22-year-old kept her calm and soon capitalised on errors made by Yamaguchi to lead 20-18 in no time from where she won the game and the match as well.
“It was a good match and there were long rallies. After losing the first game she came back strongly in the second and even secured a big lead. But I still kept going even though I was down. All through I was telling myself, even though I was down it was not over till the last point,” she said while speaking to The Times of India, after her match from Hong Kong.
Coach Gopichand was also pleased with Sindhu’s performance and is hopeful of her replicating the same show in the semis against Thailand’s Ratchanok Itanon on Saturday.
“It was a keenly-contested tie. Sindhu played with a lot of focus and had a good strategy. She was a lot patient throughout. She is playing well and has a good chance of winning tomorrow,” he said.