Kowloon: PV Sindhu lived upto her reputation for being a big match player as she outplayed Thailand’s Ratchanok Itanon to progress to the finals of the Hong Kong Open Super Series on Saturday.
The ace shuttler from Hyderabad has been continuously playing for a month and half, but has never looked tired or fatigued as she defeated the former World Champion 21-9, 18-21, 21-7 to book a place in the final where she would face Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
This would be a repeat of the final from last year when Tai had defeated Sindhu in straight sets and had also got the better of her at the All England and Australian Open tournaments, held earlier this year.
But the clash, which is expected be of equals is slightly tilted in the Indian’s favour, given her development and growth in the sport.
Coach Gopichand was undoubtedly a happy man at the end and said Sindhu played smartly.
“It’s a good match, Sindhu is smart enough to mix her pace and defence. She is moving quite well and is in good shape today,” he said.
He also said that Sindhu could win the game if she sticks to her strategy.
“It will be a tough match but if Sindhu sticks to the strategy she should be able to win,” Gopichand added.
Sindhu had taken a 9-3 lead in the first game and by the break, she was already leading 11-7 and even though she dominated, the way Itanon fought back before going down was indeed admirable.
The second game was tied at 6-6 at one point of time and gradually Sindhu made it 11-6. But Itanon’s fightback was what stood out as the Thai closed down the gap to 13-14. She also fought back later to lessen the gap at 16-18 but after that, both of them were involved in a 24-shot rally. Then a line call was challenged by Sindhu which was enough to help her win the match and thus, the 2017 World Silver medalist reached her third Super Series final in 2017 after winning the India Open and the Korea Open Super Series.