P.V. Sindhu was elated after beating Japan's Akane Yamaguchi to advance to the semifinals of the women's singles event at the Tokyo Olympics on Friday. World No. 7 Sindhu got the better of Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20 to make the last four. Sindhu will face Tai Tzu Ying, who beat Intanon Ratchanok 14-21, 21-18, 21-18.
Sindhu books semifinal berth in Tokyo Olympics, Badminton Highlights: Sindhu beats Akane Yamaguchi 2-0 in quarters
"The best match of the tournament for me so far," Sindhu said after the quarterfinal that lasted 56 minutes. "The second game was very crucial for me. Even though she was leading, I never lost hope. I was not that nervous. We have trained so hard for this. My coach was constantly saying, 'it is okay, it is not over yet... you can do it' so I have done it."
PV Sindhu to face Tai Tzu Ying in semifinals at Tokyo Olympics
Both players sank to their knees after a gruelling 54-stroke rally in the second game that lasted 62 seconds. Sindhu highlighted the tough nature of the face-off but said she was always up for the challenge.
"They were really long rallies. I always knew she would come back, and I was prepared for it. There were a few errors from my side when I was hitting smashes, but apart from that, I am happy that I closed the match in two games."
Asked if she had made changes to her game, Sindhu said: "I have worked on my technique and skill with my coach. Due to the pandemic, tournaments were getting cancelled. I utilised the time well."