PV Sindhu reaches finals of World Championships, beats World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi

PV Sindhu reaches finals of World Championships, beats World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi

Indian shuttler PV Sindhu advanced to her second consecutive BWF World Championship final after beating Japan’s World No 2 Akane Yamaguchi in straight sets in the second semifinal.

Sindhu beat Yamaguchi 21-16, 24-22, after an early burst of dominance from the Japanese. Sindhu will face World No. 9 Carolina Marin in the final.Sindhu started the first set nervously as Yamaguchi enjoyed a healthy 5-0 lead. She came back into the match to reduce the deficit by one point at the break (10-11). A couple of unforced errors by Yamaguchi saw Sindhu take the lead by 14-12. Sindhu then surged ahead with a six-point lead as Yamaguchi went down trying to place her shots close to the line. (18-12).

Yamaguchi fought hard to close Sindhu’s lead to three points (16-19) but Sindhu smashed her way to take the first game by 21-16 in just 20 minutes of play.

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The Japanese turned aggressive in the second set and led Sindhu 7-3 in the start. Yamaguchi had a comfortable four-point lead at the break (11-7). Yamaguchi maintained her lead (19-12) as Sindhu cut a frustrated figure. However, Sindhu manoeuvred her opponent with eight straight points to lead 20-19. Just when Sindhu looked like taking the match away, Yamaguchi levelled 20-20 and threatened to take the match into the third set when she took another point (21-20).

Sindhu found her way back to level the game again but she went on to lose two more match points. Yamaguchi failed to land her smash and handed Sindhu another match point. A fired up Sindhu made the most of it to win the nerve-wracking second set 24-22 and the match in 55 minutes.

PV Sindhu had advanced to the semis after hammering World No. 6 Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals on Friday. She defeated Okuhara in straight sets (21-17, 21-19) and avenged her loss in the 2017 edition. Okuhara had defeated the Indian shuttler 19-21 22-20 20-22 in the final last year.