PV Sindhu, who has already secured a semi-final berth, continued her good form at the BWF World Superseries in Dubai as she outclassed Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in straight games. But another Indian star, Kidambi Srikanth failed to keep alive Indian men's hopes as he lost against Chinese Shi Yuqi.
World No. 3 Sindhu thrashed World No. 2 Yamaguchi 21-9, 21-13 in just 36 minutes which helped her top group A in women's singles at the Sheikh Hamdan Indoor Stadium in Dubai.
Before the match, Sindhu had a 4-2 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi which definitely boosted the Indian's confidence as she dominated the proceedings from the start and soon got a lead of 5-0. She entered the opening break at 11-1 with a fantastic return and successfully reached 15-4. Yamaguchi managed to won points but she failed to cut down her unforced errors. The Japanese player saved a couple of game points before Sindhu wrapped the opening game 21-9 with the help of a cross court drop shot.
Yamaguchi showed some fight in the second game as both players shared the initial four points and then fans witnessed some good rallies. A couple of unforced errors helped Sindhu take the lead lead 8-6 and the Indian managed to enter the break with a three-point advantage. It seemed that Yamaguchi was facing a struggle to control the shuttle, and that allowed Sindhu to move to a 13-8 lead. Yamaguchi got a couple of points through a video referral and a miscued shot by the Indian but the latter managed to extend the lead at 18-12. A deceptive return and miscued stroke by Yamaguchi handed Sindhu seven match points and she didn’t waste any time this time sealing the game and the match.
In the next match of women's singles, Sindhu will face China's Chen Yufei.
However, world no. 4 Srikanth suffered his third straight loss in men's singles Group B, going down 17-21, 21-19, 14-21 to All England Championship finalist Chinese Shi Yuqi in the last group stage match.
In the first game, Srikanth was trailing 8-10, but showed some fight as he equalized at 16-16, but Shi Yuqi rallied and won the opening game 21-17.
Srikanth managed to hold on to Yuqi's pace as they were at 10-10 in the 2nd game, and Srikanth continued to fight, taking the game to 16-6. The Indian grabbed hold of the second game as he won the close contest 21-19.
After two straight losses, Srikanth stretched Shi Yuqi to the decider but he was no match for his opponent in the third game. Srikanth’s journey ended with a 14-21 loss in the third game.
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