PV Sindhu continued her scintillating run in the Korea Open Super Series with a hard-fought 21-19 16-21 21-10 win over Japan’s Minatsu Mitani and reached the semis, while Sameer Verma was shown the door by Korea’s Son Wan. Sindhu will now face China’s sixth-seeded He Bingjiao.
PV Sindhu had a 1-1 head-to-head record against Minatsu Mitani, indicating that the match was always going to be a tricky one. And it turned out exactly that way as the one-hour long duel continued shifting balance from one side to the other as none of the shuttlers showed signs of weakening.
The fifth-seeded Indian had started the match quite convincingly taking a lead of 6-2 early in the opening game but the Japanese showed real grit and determination to come back quickly and reach the break at 11-9. Sindhu came back to life with a close battle that put them in at 16-16 before the Indian jumped to take the lead at 19-16 and then went on to win it.
After the first game, Mitani was lightning fast in coming back as she erased the lead instantly. Taking an early lead of 8-4, Mitani showed her intent, and despite Sindhu cancelling it with an impressive comeback to lead 12-9, it was the Japanese who clawed back at 13-13 and finished off the second game at 21-16.
Surprisingly, the decider wasn’t a nail-biting one as the previous two games had promised as Sindhu went on a roaring run to take a 9-2 lead, hardly giving her opponent any breathing space. She was 11-6 at the break, extended it to 19-9 after the interval and sealed a comfortable 21-10 win to reach the semi-finals. Sindhu will now face China’s He Bingjiao at the SK Handball Stadium.
Things went wrong for India’s Sameer Verma in the men's singles event as he was ousted by old rival Son Wan in the quarterfinals. Sameer did give his opponent a tough battle before bowing out in game that ran an hour and nine minutes.
Verma had earlier seen the back of his Korean opponent in the opening round at India Super Series in March, but the 29-year-old has been on a meteoric rise since then, reaching the top of the ranking charts, and he continued the trend with a 20-22 21-10 21-13 win over the Indian.
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