Dubai Superseries Finals: Sindhu beats Yamaguchi

P.V. Sindhu rallied to beat Japan's Akane Yamaguchi 12-21, 21-8, 21-15 in her campaign-opener at the BWF Superseries Finals in Dubai on Wednesday.

P.V. Sindhu badminton, Dubai Superseries Finals

P.V. Sindhu en route to her win over eighth seed Akane Yamaguchi on Wednesday.   -  Getty Images

World No. 10 P. V. Sindhu bounced back from the loss of the opening game to overcome World No. 8 and second seeded Japanese Akane Yamaguchi 12-21, 21-8, 21-15 in her campaign-opener of the Dubai World Superseries Finals on Wednesday.

Sindhu, making her debut in the select eight-player year-ending event, got her act together after dropping the first game and never trailed in the remainder of the 63-minute match.

Earlier, in another Group ‘B’ match, China’s Sun Yu, ranked sixth, upstaged Olympic champion and World No. 2 Carolina Marin 21-18, 24-22 in 58 minutes. This was Sun Yu’s third victory over the Spaniard in five meetings.

Sindhu entered the match against the 19-year-old Yamaguchi, a two-time World junior champion and winner of Denmark Open and Korea Open this year, looking to improve over her 2-1 head-to-head score.

After a lack-lustre opening game, Sindhu truly found her touch at 7-7 in the second game. The Olympic silver-medallist reeled off 13 straight points to reach game-point.

In the decider, too, Sindhu didn’t allow her five-feet two-inch rival to raise the bar. She stayed in the lead after Yamaguchi had made it 1-1.

Though the taller Indian had the advantage of reach, Yamaguchi stayed alive in the match with some timely retrieves and placements but Sindhu was not to be denied on this day.

Sindhu’s well-known defensive skills and choice of strokes from the back-court had Yamaguchi ‘[on the mat’ more than once. With both players looking increasingly tired, Sindhu nailed it when Yamaguchi tossed the shuttle into the sideline.

On Thursday, Sindhu plays Sun Yu. The players have beaten each other three times, with Sindhu winning their last meeting, the final of the China Open last month. The winner of this clash is also likely to seal her place in the semifinals.

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