BWF World Championships: Sindhu in final, Sai Praneeth settles for bronze

Kento Momota beat Sai Praneeth 21-13 21-8 to enter men's singles final; P.V. Sindhu overcame Yufei Chen 21-7 21-14 to book a berth in women's singles final.

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

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That's wide and that's it, Praneeth runs out of steam and loses the semifinal to Kento Momota 21-13 21-8.

20-8: MATCH POINT!

18-8: Two quick points for the Indian, but that isn't enough. Even if Praneeth loses this fixture, he should be high in confidence after holding Momota for so long.

18-6: This has been a one-sided game but Praneeth is still throwing himself around the court.

16-6: Great imagination on court, along with a great backhand. The Japanese is ruling the roost and it is a matter of a few minutes. Praneeth has lost the plot.

15-5: One of the best rallies of the game ends in favour of Momota.

13-4: Praneeth is attacking the backline but Momota is keeping everything out. The Indian needs to go berserk to save this game right now.

11-4: Praneeth still feels he can hold the Japanese but it looks tough at the moment.

11-3: A couple of unforced errors by the Indian puts Momota on top at the interval.

9-3: Welcome point for Praneeth.

9-2: Relentless Momota marching closer to another final.

8-2: This should be over in the next 10 minutes. Momota is in the form of his life. Jumps to his right to defend the smash and earns a point.

6-2: Momota has been consistent and is making it look easy now. He has completely locked Praneeth's movements.

4-2: Praneeth is trying to lift it from the net and failing. He needs to lift it a little higher and not play these tricky shots against someone as skilled as Momota.

3-2: Momota replies with a jump smash to take lead.

1-2: Praneeth is putting pressure on the deep forehand corner of the Japanese shuttler.

1-1: Momota earns a point.

0-1: Praneeth stretches Momota to the left, earns first point in the second game.

Praneeth is having a quick word with coach Pullella Gopichand. He needs to start afresh in the second game and bag the required points.

Momota wins first game 21-13.

13-21: Momota takes less than 20 minutes to win the first game against Praneeth.

13-20: Welcome point for Praneeth but he needs more of those.

12-19: There is no stopping Momota. He is taking control now, just a couple of more points and he should win the opening game.

12-16: JUMP SMASH by Praneeth! Finally, the trademark shot.

11-16: Praneeth earns a point but lets it slip in the next shot.

10-14: Praneeth seems to have lost his rhythm after a bright start. Another unforced error by Praneeth gifts Momota another point.

10-13: Momota is in a hurry to seal the first game. Three quick points.

10-11: Advantage Momota at the interval.

What a terrific defense by Praneeth to contain the cross-court smash! Absolutely brilliant.

9-10: Praneeth is attacking Momota and the Japanese seems to be aware of it. Usually, Momota is far more aggressive than he is today. Good leave by Momota, Praneeth's backhand goes over the line.

7-9: Momota is tiring out Praneeth here. A couple of backhand subtle shots followed by a ferocious smash.

7-7: Down the line smash from Praneeth levels the score. This is going to be cut-throat.

6-7: Momota in lead!

6-5: Momota is aiming at an angle slightly above the net, keeping it flat, and easy. Praneeth is forced to move back and forth. The Indian needs to watch out. Momota is feeding off the pace from the opponent.

5-3: Praneeth is racing away but Momota is slowly catching up. The Japanese shuttler is relying a lot on the forehand, he isn't too fond of cross-court shots. Praneeth, on the other hand, is hunting for quick points keeping the basics right.

2-1: And that's another easy point for the Indian. Momota fights back earning his first point.

1-0: Praneeth attacks Momota upfront.

Praneeth to serve.

16:44: Praneeth is a technical player with all the shots in his book. He is unpredictable. Momota is known for his defense.

Prannoy has already created history by assuring himself a medal at the World Championship; he is the first male shuttler from India to secure a medal at the Worlds in 36 years. Prakash Padukone had won bronze in 1983.

16:42: Praneeth and Momota are on the court and warming up.

Sai Praneeth will take on Kento Momota in the men's semfinals after the women's doubles contest between Du Y/Li Yh and Fukushima/Hirota. We will be back with the live updates for that match.

RESULT: PV Sindhu beat Yufei Chen 21-7, 21-14

MATCH REPORT

21-14 Chen hits it long and Sindhu is into the final! A walk in the park for the Indian as she marches into her third successive World Championships final! The world no. 5 has methodically dismantled her opponent, who didn't put her best foot forward today. It remains to be seen if Sindhu can break her World Championships jinx by winning the final on the third time of asking.

20-14 Chen saves couple of match points. A forehand smash from the Chinese.

20-12 Sindhu seizes the initiative again after a rasping cross-court smash! Match point for the Indian.

19-12 The Chinese gets her first successive points of the match after SIndhu hits it long. Too little, too late.

19-10 A 26-shot rally and Sindhu gets the point with a pass into an empty court after dragging Chen wide of the court.

18-9 Chen had the opportunity to get her placement right but she misses it.. Hits it long after dragging Sindhu to the net.

16-9 Sindhu with another good judgement as Chen's shot goes long.

15-8 Chen squanders it yet again... She hits it long...

14-8 Rub of the green in Chen's favour. Her forehand hits the tape and trickles over the net. Chen will take that!

14-7 Three straight points since the mid-game interval for Sindhu.

13-7 Chen hits a overhead shot at the net after a 26-shot rally.

12-7 Smashed it right at Chen after a rally and the Chinese has no chance to return. Sindhu has stamped her authority on the semifinal from the word go.

11-7 A smash from the near court from Sindhu after a string of attacking shots! Another lead going into the break. Sindhu is well on her way to her third successive World Championship final... Chen needs a massive response from here on.

10-6 A superb pass to the near court from Sindhu. Chen can't retrieve it on the run.

9-5 One more shot that goes long.. Sindhu beginning to get a stranglehold of the game now.

8-5 Well judged by Sindhu as she lets Chen's shot go long.

6-5 WHAT. A. RALLY! Both the shuttlers giving it their all in that rally before Chen prevailing with a near court drop. Sindhu had given up on that. A 36-shot rally. That would have taken a lot out of the shuttlers.

5-4 A good response from Chen. The Chinese hits a smash to the weaker side of Sindhu and the return is off the mark.

5-3 Chen hits it against the net...

3-3 A cross-court forehands pass from Chen and Sindhu gives up on that. Perfectly placed by Chen.

3-2 Sindhu with a cross-court smash and Chen's return on her weaker side doesnt have enough to get over the net.

2-1 Sindhu's lift goes long but lands inside the back court line. Chen misjudges it and lets it go.

1-1 Cross-court smash from Chen and she lands it on the mark!

1-0 Better start to the second game from Chen but she drags her shot long after indulging in a 24-shot rally.

SECOND GAME

21-7 As simple as that! A superb backhand slice over the net, which lands wide of Chen and that's the first game to Sindhu! The Indian is running away with the semifinal.

20-6 Another corss-court smash and Chen's return doesn't get over the net.

19-5 Another Sindhu smash and this time it's behind for Chen to retrieve it.

18-5 Smashed through her! No chance for Chen to retrieve it as Sindhu hit it straight at her.

17-4 Smash! Chen offers too much air time and Sindhu accepts it with a precision forehand winner!

14-4 Aah. Nearly over... Sindhu goes for the delicate drop but it doesn't get over the tape.

13-3 Another miss from Chen on the smash. Chen has been out of sorts so far.

12-3 Yet again.. Chen misses her booming smash after making Sindhu do all the defensive work. 

11-3 Chen has been off the mark in the semifinal... She hits another cross-court wide and we head into a short break. Dominant stuff from Sindhu at the halfway stage of the first game!

9-3 Sindhu with a delicate drop and Chen can't retrieve it on the run. What a start from the Indian so far after her 71-minute marathon against Tai Tzu Ying yesterday.

8-3 Sindhu misses her cross-court smash from the baseline as her shot goes wide.

8-2 Sindhu with a hard smash and Chen's underarm return doesn't get over the net.

7-2 On the net from Chen after a short rally.

5-2 A cross-court smash from Sindhu on the line! She is pleased with that shot!

4-2 Superb from Chen! A whipped forehand smash out of nowhere to the left of Sindhu and the Indian had no chance to retrieve it!

3-1 Sindhu with a delicate drop which trickles over the tape and Chen can't get her return over the net.

1-1 Sindhu squanders a chance. She misses a simple placement and hits it wide after making Chen stretch with a cross-court smash.

1-0 Chen hits it long and the first point of the day goes to Sindhu.

FIRST GAME

The shuttlers make their way out to the court. World No. 3 Chen gets a warm welcome but Sindhu gets a loud roar as her name is announced.

Sindhu has a 5-3 career head-to-head record over Chen. Their last meeting was in the Indonesia Open last month where the Indian won 21-19, 21-10.

The match is scheduled for a 2.30 pm start.

In the first big match of the day, India's P. V. Sindhu will face Yufei Chen of China in the women's singles semifinals. B. Sai Praneeth takes on Kento Momota in the men's singles semifinals a little later. Both the Indian semifinalists are assured of medals.

Sindhu vs Chen

DAY 5 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.

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'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.”