Sindhu reaches Macau final after tough battle

The World No. 12 slugged against the World No. 10 Akane Yamakuchi to churn out a victory in three sets in an hour and three minutes. She faces either He Bingjiao or Minatsu Mitani in the final.

P. V. Sindhu won 21-8, 15-21, 21-16 for a spot in the final.   -  Rajeev Bhatt (File Photo)

Two-time defending champion P. V. Sindhu stood just one win away from completing a hat-trick of titles at the Macau Open after she advanced to final of the event with a gruelling three-game triumph over second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan. World No. 12 Sindhu triumphed 21-8, 15-21, 21-16 in a contest that lasted an hour and three minutes to make the summit clash of the $ 120,000 event.

The two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, and seeded fifth, Sindhu will next square off against the winner of the match between He Bingjiao of China and sixth-seeded Japanese Minatsu Mitani.

Opening game claimed in 14 minutes

Sindhu was off to a fantastic start today as she pocketed the opening game in a mere 14 minutes. But Yamaguchi did not let the Indian run away with it and roared back into the contest to claim the second game. The World No. 9 went neck-and-neck with the Indian till 15—15 before breaking away to draw level.

Sindhu raised her tempo in the decisive third game and raced to an 11-5 lead. Yamaguchi did claw back to reduce the margin but the Indian managed to do just enough to seal the issue in her favour. With this, Sindhu avenged a loss that she had suffered at the hands of Yamaguchi in 2013 when the Japanese had knocked her out of the Japan Open with a 21-6, 21-17 win.

Support Sportstar

Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos