Sindhu into World Championship semifinals

Catch all the updates from day five of the BWF World Championships 2018 here.

P.V. Sindhu faces Nozomi Okuhara in the quarterfinals   -  Sandeep Saxena

P.V Sindhu advances into the semifinals of the BWF World Championships with a 21-17 21-19 win over Nozomi Okuhara. Saina Nehwal and B Sai Praneeth crashed out in the quarterfinals against Carolina Marin and Kento Momota respectively.

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Blog:

9:18pm: SINDHU WINS 21-17 21-19!!

P. V. Sindhu knocks the defending champion out of the World Championships. The Indian will face Akane Yamaguchi for a place in the final.

9:17pm: It's match point for Sindhu on her own serve.

9:16pm: Sindhu serves at 19-18. And Okuhara's forehand smash makes it 19-all. The shot has been her strongest asset today.

9:14pm: Okuhara is swinging between brilliance and avoidable errors. She serves wide to allow Sindhu to level at 18-18.

9:12pm: Sindhu seems to win the next point, but Okuhara challenges. The call stands. Sindhu leads 17-16.

9:10pm: It's still neck and neck at 16-16.

9:08pm: Sindhu's height is coming into play here. Her 10-inch advantage against the diminutive Okuhara is letting her reach a lot more shots. It's 15-all.

9:04pm: Okuhara is making some uncharacteristic errors. It's 12-all. And Sindhu takes the lead for the first time in the second game at 13-12.

9:03pm: Sindhu serves at 11-all. She's cut a five-point deficit to her opponent in the last 10 minutes.

9:02pm: Okuhara misses an easy winner, sending it into the net. She leads 11-10 now.

9:01pm: Sindhu keeps the gap close at 9-11.

9:59pm: Sindhu narrows the gap to 8-10.

8:57pm: Sindhu fights back to 7-10.

These two have had some memorable meetings in the past. Sindhu beat Okuhara in the semis at the 2016 Olympics on her way to the silver medal, as the Japanese took the bronze. Then last year, Okuhara beat the Indian in a 110-minute epic to win the world championship.

8:55pm: Sindhu goes from defence to offence as she claws back a point. Okuhara leads 9-5.

8:53pm: Okuhara has the advantage at 8-3 and is just growing in confidence.

8:51pm: Sindhu finally opens her account in the second game. She serves at 1-5.

8:50pm: Okuhara takes an early 4-0 lead in the second game. And the Japanese quickly makes it 5-0.

First game

8:42pm: Sindhu takes the first game 21-17. She didn't have it easy though. Okuhara is proving to be a tough nut to crack. The first game could have taken a lot out of both of them.

8:37pm: Both of them are playing out excellent rallies down on the court, Sindhu just edging them. She leads 17-13.

8:32pm: Sindhu goes into the mid-game interval with a slender lead of 11-10.

8:30pm: The Indian concedes her two-point lead and Okuhara levels the game at 10-10. This is already a very close match. One you'd expect when these two face each other.

8:29pm: Sindhu fights her way to the lead. 9-8 to Sindhu.

8:27pm: Okuhara is defending well as Sindhu tries to get back on par. Sindhu trails 8-7.

8:22pm: Sindhu starts the game on the backfoot. She trails 5-2.

P.V Sindhu on the court for her quarterfinal match against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara. These two have history, specifically last year's World Championship finals.

Sindhu and Okuhara have been a part of high-adrenaline clashes over the past two years. Okuhara has had the better of her opponent six out of 11 times and she’ll be going into the clash more confident. Sindhu isn’t too far behind though. Only two of their clashes have ended in straight games, with most of their matches going down to the wire.

The World Championship final, last year, is the most memorable of all the Sindhu-Okuhara clashes. In a match that lasted almost two hours, Okuhara edged out Sindhu, taking the championship 19-21 22-20 22-20.

B Sai Praneeth loses in straight games (12-21 12-21) to Japan's Kento Momota in the quarterfinals of the badminton World Championships. P.V. Sindhu is the only remaining Indian in the tournament. Next up is her match against Nozomi Okuhara.

Second game

8:12pm: Momota takes the second game 21-12 to advance to his second world championship semifinal.

8:08pm: A string of nets and wides. Praneeth seems to be losing focus as he concedes points to unforced errors and now trails 17-12.

8:04pm: At the mid-game interval, Praneeth trails 11-7. Despite catching up with Momota, he lost his footing to a set of unforced errors. So far, Momota has been on the attack and Praneeth has tried to defend.

8:00pm: With an unforced error from Momota, Praneeth catches up with the Japanese at 6-6.

7:56pm: Sai Praneeth had a 3-1 lead. But Momota climbed back into the game and leads 5-3.

First game

7:52pm: Kento Momota takes the first game 21-12.

7:50pm: Through a string of unforced errors from Momota, Praneeth wins five straight points. 19-11

7:48pm: Momota is proving too hot to handle for the Indian. Praneeth trails 19-6.

7:43pm: Praneeth goes into the break trailing 11-5.

7:41pm: Praneeth is trying to claw his way back into the game, but Momota still has a five point lead. 9-4

FACT: Sai Praneeth and Kento Momota have faced each other two times - both in 2013 - and the Indian won both. They've come a long way since then.

7:36pm: Sai Praneeth is struggling against a superior Momota who has raced to a 6-1 lead.

7:30pm: B Sai Praneeth takes his place on court ahead of his quarterfinal match against Kento Momota.

The 2018 edition of the BWF World Championships has reached the halfway mark and the competition gets tougher here on.

After Saina Nehwal crashing out in the quarters against Carolina Marin, and the mixed doubles duo of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Renkireddy also losing out in the quarters, Indian hopes now rest with PV Sindhu and B Sai Praneeth who will play their quarterfinal matches later today.

B Sai Praneeth is set to face Japan's Kento Momota and P.V. Sindhu will face a familiar rival - Nozomi Okuhara.

READ: Saina, Carolina, Sindhu, Okuhara — familiar faces meet in quarters

Watch this space for all the updates from the quarterfinals

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Highlights:

- It has not been a great start for India with the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy losing their quarterfinal challenge against the mighty Chinese pair of Siwei Zhang and Yaqiong Huang 21-17, 21-10 .

- Saina Nehwal, too, went down meekly to Spain's Carolina Marin in a one-sided contest. She lost 21-6, 21-10 in the quarters.

- Meanwhile, World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying suffered a shock defeat at the hands of China's He Bingjiao in the quarterfinals. China's He won 21-18, 7-21, 21-13.

- Indian hopes now rest with P.V. Sindhu and B. Sai Praneeth who will be playing their quarterfinal matches in the evening session. 

Blog:

Saina Nehwal vs Carolina Marin ( Head-to-head:  Nehwal 5-4 Marin)

Second game

11:18am: It's the end of Saina's challenge. She loses 21-6, 21-10 to World No. 8 Carolina Marin. 

11:15am:  The screaming, grunting Spaniard has stamped her authority on this game. She has again raced to a big lead, 17-9 this time with some sharp front-court smashes.

11:11am: The Indian has gained some ground and recovered to 8-11.

11:05am: From 2-2 to 2-7, it doesn't seem like Saina's day at all.

First game

11:00am: Marin is on fire! The Spaniard pockets the first game 21-6 in just 12 minutes of play.

10:55am: An 11-2 advantage puts Marin in the driver's seat.

10:50am: Carolina Marin has raced to a six point lead in the first game 8-2.

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Ashwini Ponnappa/ Satwiksairaj Rankireddy vs Siwei Zheng and Yaqiong Huang

Second game

10:35am: Zheng smashes one to the backcourt and it is all over for the Indian pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj. They lose 21-17, 21-10 in the quarterfinals.

10:30am: Satwik gets one point back for the Indians with a clever return . The Chinese duo are still comfortably leading 12-5.

10:27am: Yaqiong comes with a beautifull cross-court return that dips at the net. Aswini stretches to the left to lift, but is ill-placed to make a return. It's 9-4 for the Chinese pair.

10:25am: China hs the edge in the second game. The mixed doubles pair has taken a 6-2 lead after short rallies. The Chinese shuttlers are quicker on their feet and make far few errors at the net, and that shows in the scoreline.

First game

10:20am: China's Zheng-Huang win the first game 21-17.

10:15am: It's 17-18 for the Indian pair. It is anybody's game now.

10:10am: Ashwini's experience coming in handy here. The India duo have charged back and are currently going neck-to-neck with the score now at 10-12. 

10:05am: Looks like we jumped the gun. Ponnappa-Rankireddy have fallen back big time with the World No. 2 pair from China taking a 9-4 lead in quick time.

10:00am:  Indians off to a good start against the experienced Chinese pair of Zheng-Huang. 2-0