Hong Kong Open: Sindhu through to semifinals

P. V. Sindhu moved into the semifinals with a 21-12, 21-19 victory over Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.

P. V. Sindhu now has four wins in her career over Akane Yamaguchi.   -  AFP

P. V. Sindhu met a familiar opponent in the quarterfinals of the Hong Kong Open later on Friday. Less than a month ago, 20-year-old Akane Yamaguchi of Japan had defeated her in the semifinals of the French Open Super Series. The Indian has now shot back with a 21-12, 21-19 victory on Friday.

She will face Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, the World No. 6, in the semifinal. Intanon defeated Canada's Michelle Li in the quarterfinals.

On Thursday, Sindhu was the only Indian singles player not to have exited the competition, with compatriots Saina Nehwal, H. S. Prannoy and others having lost their respective matches. Sindhu won her second-round contest against Japan's Aya Ohori.

Yamaguchi and Sindhu have met seven times in their careers; Sindhu leads the head-to-head with four wins to Yamaguchi’s two. However, Yamaguchi has the better current world ranking - 2 to Sindhu’s 3 - and her most recent win over Sindhu was a sound thrashing 21-14, 21-9. The win on Friday, therefore, is a big scalp.

Read: Saina, Prannoy out of reckoning for Dubai Super Series Finals

Last year, Sindhu had defeated the Japanese twice: in the Dubai World Super Series Finals in December, and the BWF Thomas & Uber Cup Finals in May.

Sindhu has been consistently performing well in the past year. She has reached the quarterfinal stage or beyond in five out of the last eight tourneys she has participated in.