Korea Open: Sindhu beats Minatsu, enters semis

The fifth seed overcame her Japanese opponent in three games in the quarterfinals.

P. V. Sindhu disposed of her Japanese opponent in 63 minutes. Photo: AFP

P. V. Sindhu booked her spot in the semifinals of the Korea Super Series with a 21-19, 16-21, 21-10 victory over Japan's Minatsu Mitani.

The fifth seeded Indian, who had a 1-1 head-to-head record against the Japanese, will next face either third seed Sung Ji Hyun or China’s He Bingjiao, seeded sixth at the SK Handball Stadium here.

Sindhu eked out a 6—2 lead early on in the opening game but Mitani managed to claw back and turn the tables around, reaching 11-9 at the break. After a close battle till 16-16, Sindhu jumped to 19-16.

Mitani then erased the deficit but Sindhu ensured she had the bragging rights after the first game as she sealed it quickly.

In the second game, Mitani opened up a 8-4 lead but Sindhu surpassed her soon and was leading 12-9. But the Japanese once again clawed back at 13-13 and then moved away from the Indian to roar back into the contest.

In the decider, Sindhu showed her class as she didn’t give any chance to Mitani to make any recovery after zooming to a 9-2 lead. She was 11-6 at the break, which she extended to 19-9 after the interval, before slamming the door on the Japanese.

Sameer Verma bows out

Earlier, India’s Sameer Verma bowed out of the tournament with a 20-22, 21-10, 21-13 loss to Korea’s Son Wan Ho in the quarterfinals. Son Wan had disposed of P. Kashyap in the earlier round.

The first game oscillated between the two sides before the Indian clinched it narrowly. The second game was initially closely fought too, but at 7-7, Son Wan won nine points in a row to effectively seal the game. Verma trailed for the most part in the deciding game, by now the momentum having completely shifted.

A little more than five months ago, Sameer had defeated Son Wan in the opening round at India Super Series in March but since then the Korean has climbed to the top of world ranking.