In a rematch of the Olympic final, PV Sindhu exacted sweet revenge with a straight-games 21-17, 21-13 win over Spaniard Carolina Marin to seal her place in the semifinal. Sindhu had to work hard to win the first game but an error-prone Marin gifted away the second to crash out of the event.
Sindhu and Marin had faced off on eight occasions in the past with the Spaniard emerging victorious 5 times including the last meeting between the two in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The match had the feel of a quarter-final as the winner would book a place in the
Marin exerted early pressure on the Indian with some delightful drop shots but found Sindhu up for the challenge and eventually the Spaniard put the shuttle out to concede the first point. Sindhu took a 2-0 lead, but Marin fought back with some brilliant play from all around the court to take a 3-7 lead aided also by some glaring errors from Sindhu.
Sindhu soon picked up the pace and forced errors from the Olympic gold medallist to rally five straight points and take back the lead at 8-7. Marin came back to take the lead again at 10-8 but Sindhu took a slender one-point lead at the half-way point of the first game with two gloriously placed shots.
Both players were making unusual errors as the scoreboard showed a level score of 12-12. Sindhu then took a four-point lead on the back of some resolute
The next point proved to be the rally of the game - in a seesaw affair, it looked like Marin was going to win the point with a brilliant cross-court smash. But not only did Sindhu pick it up but a stroke later smashed it past the Spaniard to take an 18-13 lead in the match. After yet another long rally, Marin put the shuttle wide of the sideline and Sindhu had six game-point opportunities. Sindhu failed to convert three of them, but a smash down the line handed the Indian the first game by a score of 21-17.
There was an extended break before the second game as Marin had to take a medical break to nurse a blister on her foot. But it was Marin who made a better start to the second game as she upped the pace to take a 1-3 lead. Sindhu, however, reversed it by winning the next four points in a row to take a 5-3 lead in the match.
The Spaniard found herself within two points of Sindhu after the latter made a couple of errors, to take the score to 7-5 but the Indian won five of the next six points to take a convincing lead in the game. Marin fought back with a couple of good rallies to bring the score to 16-10 but a wayward backhand drop put Sindhu seven points in the lead. Marin made a service error to take the score to 17-11 and never recovered from there.
A long baseline shot gave Sindhu
With the win, Sindhu also booked her place in the semi-final of the event where she will face South Korean Sung Ji-
Manjeet Chillar or Sandeep Narwal? Which all-rounder will have more points?
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