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All England Open 2018: PV Sindhu defeats Nozomi Okuhara to reach semis

All England Open 2018: PV Sindhu defeats Nozomi Okuhara to reach semis
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Published: 17 March 2018 5:35 AM GMT
When the All England Open began, India had been slated to start with a strong challenge given Badminton's booming popularity in the country. For now, it's only PV Sindhu who remains in the fray as she defeated prominent rival Nozomi Okuhara to reach her maiden semi finals in the tournament. Also read: All England Open 2018: What's happened and what's next It was an especially sweet victory for the Indian who has, by now, already faces quite a few tough names in the initial rounds of the tournament. What made this victory special was that she bettered her own finish in the tournament by defeating a contemporary with whom she has shared one of the greatest rivalries in recent times.
It was a nail-biting clash for Indians watching from back home as the Rio 2016 Silver medalist lost out the first game against Okuhara in a spectacularly close fashion. The opening game ended at 22-20 in Okuhara's favour and it was all Sindhu could do to keep her young and agile opponent at bay. However, she made no mistake in the second game as, with a composed demeanour, she took an early lead against Okuhara. There were some moments worthy of discomfort when the Japanese took some quick points to catch up to Sindhu but it was Sindhu who got the better of her opponent in that game. It ended 20-18 in Sindhu's favour. The battle of nerves even saw PV Sindhu winning a 24-shot rally in the second game. During this, her furious gameplay also drew some comments from the chair umpire who proceeded to give her a first warning which caused a break in the match proceedings. But the aggressiveness by the Indian was correctly challenged as she remained unfazed in the face of strong attacks.
Also read:
All England Open: What went down on Day 2 for Indian Shuttlers The deciding game saw Okuhara make a few conscutive unforced errors giving Sindhu a 16-13 lead. But Okuhara was definitely not one to give up easily as the seventh seed Japanese won five consecutive points to claim the lead at 18-16. Right then was the moment PV Sindhu upped her game to take it 21-18 and carry on her stay in the All England Open. The third seeded Indian will take on second seed Akane Yamaguchi later today for a spot in the finals. Earlier, Yamaguchi defeated fifth seed Caolina Marin of Spain to reach the semis. PV SIndhu now remains India's only contender in the tournament after HS Prannoy lost out to Huang Yuxiang 22-20, 16-21, 21-23 in his latest match. We wish Sindhu all the best.
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