For the third year in a row, ace India shuttler P V Sindhu stormed into the finals of BWF World Championships, defeating China’s Chen Yu Fei in straight games.
The Rio Olympic silver medallist took 40 minutes to outclass World No 3 Yu Fei 21-7, 21-14.
Sindhu looked sharp and focused from the very first game itself while Yu Fei lacked pace as the Indian shuttler took just 15 minutes to take the first game.
Sindhu continued to dominate the Chinese shuttler in the second game. However, Yu Fei showed some fight in the second game as compared to the one-sided first game. But it wasn’t enough to stop the Indian as she took the second game to enter the finals.
Sindhu will now take on Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the final after she defeated Thailand’s Ratchanok Itanon.
Sindhu said: “Yes, I am happy but the final is still left. This game was good and I took lead from the very beginning and maintained it till the end. I know it is not going to be easy and so, I have to go back and prepare for it.” In the past, Chinese shuttlers had dominated the sport, but Sindhu has broken their hold, outsmarting them several times. When asked about it, Sindhu said: “I am happy to beat them. But as I said, every player has their own style of play and when it comes to Chinese shuttlers, one needs to be very much prepared. Yu Fei is also one of them but as we regularly compete with each other in various tournaments, we know each other well.”
Meanwhile, India’s Sai Praneeth’s dream run came to an end with a 13-21, 8-21 loss to Japanese World No1 Kento Momota in the semis. Praneeth kept pace with the defending champion for much of the first game, but Momota switched gears in the second and left the 27-year-old Indian reeling.
There was little to separate the two before the interval of the first game. Praneeth fluctuated between defence and attack and hardly made an unforced error which meant that Momota was holding a slender lead of 11-10 in the first game.
Momota started to assert himself after that and Praneeth started making a succession of unforced errors. Praneeth could only take two more points after resumption as Momota took the first game 21-13.
Praneeth was completely out of his depth in the second game with Momota relentlessly ticking away the points. The Indian started making a number of errors and by the time the interval came, Praneeth’s body language showed that he had resigned to his fate. Momota led 11-3 at the interval. Praneeth took just five more points and lost the second game 8-12.
Praneeth said that it was the unforced errors after the interval in the first game that brought his downfall. “I lost my rhythm after making four-five mistakes continuously after the break. He was also able to pick up all my attacks so I just blanked out,” he told IANS.
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