World Championships: Sindhu, Saina storm into semifinal

P. V. Sindhu beat Sun Yu 21-14, 21-9 in 39 minutes to assure India a medal, while Saina Nehwal defeated Kirsty Gilmour 21-19, 18-21, 21-15.

P. V. Sindhu acknowledges the crowd after her quarterfinal win on Friday. Photo: AFP

P. V. Sindhu and Saina Nehwal reached the World Championship semifinals with dominant play to beat their opponents on Friday. After Sindhu registered her spot with a straight-game victory, Saina emulated her by demolishing Kirsty Gilmour 21-19, 18-21, 21-15.

Continuing her good run, P. V. Sindhu won her quarterfinal match against fifth seed Sun Yu of China 21-14, 21-9. She will now take on Chen Yufei of China, who continued her winning run by beating eighth seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 14-21, 21-16, 21-12.

Sindhu began the match on a positive note, opening up a 3-0 lead. The Chinese clawed her way back and reduced the gap to one point.

With the score reading 5-4 in Sindhu’s favour, she won six straight points to win the lead 11-4 at the break. After play resumed, the story continued with Sindhu steamrolling her way towards winning the first game.

Sun Yu tried to stop the juggernaut but could not do much as Sindhu raced to win the opening game 21-14.

After the change of ends, Sindhu continued her good run to take an 8-4 lead. The Chinese had no answer for Sindhu’s precision play and made too many errors allowing Sindhu to go into the break 11-4.

The World No.4 resumed from where she left off and Sun Yu tried to launch a comeback but Sindhu maintained her stronghold and opened up a huge lead. Sun Yu tried delaying the inevitable but Sindhu eventually sealed the match 21-9 to march into the semifinals.

“Well I am happy with the way I have played today and I am pleased with the results. Even though I won, I must admit that Sun Yu is not an easy player to play against and the last time I played against her I lost to her (In Dubai 2016),” Sindhu said after the match.

Commenting about her next encounter with Chen, Sindhu said: “She is a good player and she is playing well. It is never easy in the semifinal of a World Championship, anything can happen. I have to be prepared for everything.”

-Saina Triumphs-

Playing her seventh consecutive quarterfinal at the World Championships, the 12th seeded Saina fought off home favourite and 16th seed Kirsty Gilmour 21—19, 18—21, 21—15 in an hour and 14 minutes to assure India of at least a bronze medal.

Saina, the 2015 World Championships runner-up, will face Japanese seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara on Saturday for a place in the final.