PV Sindhu, the reigning world champion, had to work hard to beat Yujin 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 in an hour and six minutes in the quarterfinal.
India’s two-time Olympic gold medalist shuttler PV Sindhu advanced to the Indonesia Open Super 1000 semi-finals after defeating South Korean Sim Yujin in a hard-fought three-game battle in Bali on Friday. Sindhu, the reigning world champion, had to work hard to beat Yujin 14-21, 21-19, 21-14 in an hour and six minutes in the quarterfinal. In the USD 850,000 event, the Indian will now face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Japan’s Asuka Takahashi and Thailand’s second seed Ratchanok Intanon.
Sindhu’s match against Yujin was not a straightforward affair. The Indian started confidently, racing to a 7-1 lead before the Japanese scored six straight points to tie the game. However, once Yujin took a slim 11-10 lead at the break, she didn’t look back and easily won the game to seize the early momentum. In the second game, the Japanese continued in the same vein, matching Sindhu stroke for stroke for the first seven points before the Indian upped her game. Sindhu showed more control and authority over her strokes and engaged Yujin in long rallies to take a 14-8 lead before Yujin fought back.
Sindhu drew the contest level using her vast experience and nerves. In the decider, she dominated the early exchanges to race to an 11-4 lead, but the Japanese rallied for seven consecutive points to tie the game at 11-11. Sensing trouble, Sindhu took her game to the next level just in time to outwit her opponent and win the match.
B Sai Praneeth, the other Indian in the competition, will face Olympic champion and former world No.1 Viktor Axelsen of Denmark in the men’s singles quarterfinals later in the day. Praneeth, world no.16, defeated France’s world no. 70, Christo Popov, in a gruelling second-round match on Thursday, winning 21-17 14-21 21-19.
The Indian challenge is also present in the men’s doubles event, where the sixth-seeded pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, ranked 11, will face the Malaysian pairing of Goh Sze Fei and Nur Izzuddin in the quarterfinals later on Friday.