BWF World Championships, Day Five - As it Happened

P.V. Sindhu and Sai Praneeth marched into the semifinals of the World Badminton Championships on Friday.

P.V. Sindhu in action at the World Badminton Championship quarterfinal.   -  AP

Welcome to Sportstar's live coverage of Day 4's action from the BWF Badminton World Championships in Basel, Switzerland.

Sai Praneeth beat Jonatan Christie 24-22 21-14, while P.V. Sindhu overcomes Tai Tzu Ying 12-21 23-21 21-19 to march into the semifinals of the World Badminton Championship.

UPDATES:

And that's it! Praneeth moves to the semifinal of the World Badminton Championships beating Jonatan Christie 24-22 21-14 in 51 minutes.

18:46: BODY SMASH by Praneeth to catch Christie off-guard. MATCH POINT!

18:46: Cross-court smash! Praneeth is fist-pumping, 19-14.

18:44: Praneeth is close to the match point and he needs to stay disciplined. Christie is going to come hard at him but he needs to hold composure and stick to basics. 18-14.

18:41: Praneeth looks tired but Christie has been very shaky in the second game so far. Another unforced error and the score is 16-12.  Great defense by Praneeth, that was a high-energy rally but the Indian has the last laugh. 17-12.

18:39: The scoreline looks one-sided. Five points to two in Christie's favour since the break. 14-8. Christie is upping his speed and movement. He needs to force Praneeth to commit errors. The Indian, otherwise, has been unstoppable.

18:34: Praneeth 11-3 Christie.

The Indonesian needs to be a little more aggressive. Praneeth looks exhausted but the quick race to 11 points should be refreshing.

18:31: Praneeth is leading 2-0 in split seconds in the second game. Christie is struggling for a point.

In case you missed it, P.V. Sindhu assured herself of a fifth medal at the BWF World Championships after reaching the semifinals with a come-from-behind win over Asian Games gold medallist Tai Tzu Ying of Chinse Taipei on Friday. Here's the match report.

Praneeth takes the first game 24-22 with a terrific smash.

18:24: 22-22! Praneeth misjudges and gifts a point.

18:22: Praneeth dives full stretch to stay alive in the game. 21-21. Praneeth leads 22-21. What a game this is turning out to be! This is a lengthy opening game, the shuttlers have spent 30 minutes on court.

18:21: Christie pushes Praneeth back and forth smashing and then, plays the subtle hand to get to 21.

MATCH POINT for Christie!

18:17: Praneeth wins the battle of rallies. 19-17.

18:16: It seems to be a deadlock day. After Sindhu and Ying, Praneeth is offering similar tense moments. 17-17.

18:12: What a rally in lightning speed! Praneeth is determined to maintain pace even if that leads to a couple of errors here and there. Christie is no less, slowly bringing out his A game. Praneeth 14-15 Christie.

18:08: Christie seems to have a game plan that is slowly reflecting in his movements.

18:05: A rare unforced error from the Indian. 10-8.

18:03: Christie is trying to check on his momentum after losing those points to the Indian. Christie earns a point to finally put an end to Praneeth's onslaught. 9-5.

18:02: Praneeth wins six points in a row. A cross-court smashes takes the score to 8-4.

17:58: Praneeth and Christie are slowly warming up; trying to gauge each other’s mindset at the moment. The Indian leads 6-4.

Sai Praneeth has taken the court against Jonatan Christie in the men's quarterfinals.

And that's it! P.V. Sindhu is through to the semifinals after beating Tai Tzu Ying 12-21 23-21 21-19.

Sindhu prevails in the punishing contest in 71 minutes. 21-19.

The Indian has made the semifinals of the World Badminton Championship.

17:54: MATCH POINT for Sindhu!

17:53: FOREHAND LIFT! It's in, it's in. Sindhu 19-18 Ying.

17:51: Sindhu may have a slim advantage as she is used to such situations. The mind game will come into play now. She is turning it in her favour. Sindhu 19-17 Ying. Great comeback by the Indian!

17:50: Reverse slice by Sindhu to get to 16. Ying on 17. Every point counts, every point matters.

And now, 17-17. It is another deadlock. What a game of badminton, this!

17:47: Incredible body smash by Sindhu. This is turning out to be quite a thriller. 14-14.

17:44: Fantastic passage of play by Ying, a standout aim — slightly over the net and flat. 13-10. 

If you have logged in now, here's a quick recap

First game: Sindhu 12-21 Ying; second game: Sindhu 23-21 Ying

17:42: Fantastic defense by Ying. Two-point advantage for the Chinese at the moment. 11-9.

17:40: Sindhu wins two quick points but Ying's backhand earns her a crucial point here. 10-7.

17:36: A masterstroke by Ying; fantastic down the line smash to lead 6-3.

17:35: Ying locks Sindhu's movement and steals another point. The Indian is unmoved.

17:32: Ying has raced to four points in split seconds. She looks determined but the Indian now has an edge.

Nail-biting second game. Unbelievable stuff from Sindhu! She takes the second game 23-21, detains Ying. We are going to have a third game now.

23-21 in favour of Sindhu.

17:23: 18-18!

17:20: Sindhu smashes at 352 kmph to level the score; she is fighting hard for survival here. 16-16.

17:18: Ying smashes and levels the score. 15-15. Ying is racing away now, 16-15. She is fist-pumping! 

17:16: The game is poised nicely at 15-12.

In an interview to Sportstar prior to the World Championship, Sindhu had said: "There is nothing like an easy match at this level as there is little that separates the top 16 players. So, it is not like you have an easy opponent in one round and a tougher player in the next round. You have to be on your toes always and give your best consistently right through the championship."

Read the full interview here.

17:11: Sindhu is on her toes in this must-win second game. She is leading 11-9. Gopichand has a quick word with Sindhu in the short break. There could be new tricks up her sleeve.

17:09: Sindhu needs to work hard for a medal as she is mentally behind after losing the first game. The Indian is trying hard and needs to keep at it. She is constantly trying to gauge Ying's movement, faster than before. 8-8.

17:04: Much better play by Sindhu in the second game so far; 3-3. It will be interesting to see if Sindhu has the temperament to keep pushing Ying. Oh, there you go! Ying takes lead 4-3.

Ying takes the first game (21-12) of the World Badminton Championship quarterfinals.

16:56: GAME POINT! 20-11. A terrific point off a rally for Sindhu. 20-12.

16:55: Ying is pulling her way now. 19-10. Sindhu is upping the tempo but she needs to do more. 19-11.

16:52: Sindhu bags two consecutive points at the net. The Indian is slowly trying to elevate her game. She has the experience of appearing in most world class finals.

16:51: Ying drags Sindhu to the net for a few seconds to push her back with a cross-court smash to lead 13-7.

16:50: Sindhu is struggling here, Ying is too quick to follow up to the net. 12-5.

16:46: There are chants of 'Sindhu, Sindhu' from the stands. But Ying has been sharp so far; she slices the racquet through the air at a particular angle to cause a spin of sorts, the shuttle cuts through the air. What an incredible athlete! Ying leads 10-3.

16:42: Sindhu is looking stronger but Ying scores on her court coverage. The Chinese Taipei shuttler moves at lightning speed and is currently leading 5-2 in the first game.

Sindhu to serve.

BWF World Championships 2019 | Day 4 report

 

DAY 4 REPORT:

PV Sindhu secured her fifth World Championships medal following a stunning comeback while B Sai Praneeth became the first Indian male shuttler in 36 years to grab a podium in the prestigious event here on Friday.

On a day of double delight for India, Olympic silver medallist Sindhu staged a come-from-behind victory over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, before Praneeth ended an agonising wait with a straight-game win over Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie.

Sindhu, who won back-to-back silver medals in the last two editions of the tournament to go with her two bronze, edged past world number 2 and Asian Games gold medallist Tzu Ying 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 in a pulsating contest that lasted 71 minutes, inching closer to an elusive gold medal at the worlds.

BWF WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS | As it Happened

World No. 19 Praneeth, who got the Arjuna Award this year, notched up a 24-22, 21-14 win over Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan in a 51-minute battle, joining Prakash Padukone in the medal list at the tournament.

Padukone was the first Indian to win a men’s singles World Championships medal -- a bronze -- in the 1983 edition.

In the women’s singles, Sindhu showed tremendous grit after being blown away in the opening game, edging past her fancied rival, who enjoys an upper hand (10-4) after 14 career meetings.

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Shot in the arm

“I think in the first game, I had given a huge lead and I couldn’t cover. I was prepared for her deception but my shots were going to midcourt. But the second game was anybody’s game and I kept fighting and won the second. The third game went the same way, she was leading but I had hope. At 18-18, I had to be patient and keep the shuttle inside, there were long rallies and I am happy to win this,” Sindhu said after the win.

“We keep playing with each other, so we know each other’s game. I needed to be positive. It was a really good match and taking out such close matches gives a big boost to confidence and I hope I can prepare well and come back stronger tomorrow.”

The 24-year-old Indian will take on the winner of the match between China’s Chen Yu Fei and Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt on Saturday.

“I don’t know who I will play. Chen Yufei is doing well in recent times and Mia has beaten Saina yesterday. I will be playing them after a long time. Anything can happen, I just have to be there and focus on tomorrow’s match,” Sindhu said.

READ| Shuttler H. S. Prannoy slams Arjuna Award snub

'Feels awesome'

In the men’s singles quarterfinals Praneeth, who had won the Singapore Open in 2017 and finished runner-up at Swiss Open earlier this year, came into the tournament with a 1-2 head-to-head count against the Indonesian.

But the past record didn’t matter as the Indian came out attacking to stave off a stiff challenge from Jonatan in the opening game and then blew him away in the second to find his place in history.

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“It feels awesome. It feels great and I am happy to win today. I still have matches, so I have to focus on that and be fitter for tomorrow. We can talk about what medal later on,” laughed Praneeth after the match.

Talking about the match, Praneeth said: “In the first game, the rallies were going on really long and I was attacking a lot and there was a lot of pressure and it made me tired. It was crucial because if he would have won then it could have been different.

“Later Gopi sir told me not to attack and that changed the rhythm and I think those inputs helped me a lot.”

Praneeth will take on World No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan in the semifinals on Saturday.

“I think everybody is trying to find a way to beat him. It is not easy; he is the world no 1. You have to put him under pressure, so let's see how it goes. I will give my best.”