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Badminton: PV Sindhu reaches 2021 All England Open semi-finals

India's PV Sindhu comes back from a game down to cruise into the semi-finals of 2021 All England Open Badminton beating Akane Yamaguchi 16-21, 21-16, 21-19

PV Sindhu during the All-England Open 2021
PV Sindhu

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 20 March 2021 9:56 AM GMT

India's PV Sindhu gets the better of former World No. 1 Akane Yamaguchi in the quarter-final of 2021 All England Open Badminton Championships beating her in three games 16-21, 21-16, 21-19.

After going down 16-21 in the first game, PV Sindhu mostly dominated the proceedings to win the second game 21-16. The decider was super tight with no shuttlers giving an inch of space for errors in the first phase of the third game where both of them displayed some world-class badminton. However, PV Sindhu upped the momentum when she was down 8-9, winning five consecutive points to take control of the game. Although Yamaguchi made it 15-15 and then 19-19, Sindhu kept her composure to close the game at 21-19.

PV Sindhu recorded her best-ever performance at the All England Badminton Championships in 2018 when she reached the semi-finals. Last year, Sindhu reached the quarter-final before she eventually lost to Nozomi Okuhara.

Since its inception, the All England Open has been one of the oldest and prestigious badminton tournament. World champion PV Sindhu will aim to finish on the top podium with her fierce rival Carolina Marin deciding to give the tournament a miss.

The All England Open 2021 though will not carry any point for the Road to Tokyo it serves as a vital preparatory event in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics.

Lakshya Sen finish with QF finish but take plenty of positives

Indian ace Lakshya Sen crashed out of 2021 All England Open quarterfinals after losing to Mark Caljouw of the Netherlands 17-21 21-16 17-21 here on Friday. The match, which lasted 55 minutes, saw the end of the Indian challenge in men's singles.

Caljouw, who had defeated Sen once before, claimed the first set 21-17 in 17 minutes. Sen, 19, bounced back in the second game, opening up a lead of 11-6 and later sealing it 21-16 to stay alive in the contest. The world No. 36 Caljouw, however, won the last game 21-17 to clinch the match.

Ashwini-Sikki impress but fall in the QF hurdle

The women's doubles pairing of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the 2021 All England Open following their defeat in straight games to Netherlands' Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen in the quarterfinals. The world number 30 Indian pairing went down 22-24 12-21 to the 24th-ranked duo of Selena and Cheryl in 39 minutes.

Ashwini and Sikki had defeated 13th ranked duo of Bulgarian sisters Gabriela Stoeva and Stefani Stoeva 21-17 21-10 in just 33 minutes in the second-round match on Thursday night.

World number 10 men's doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, seeded sixth, had crashed out of the event after losing 16-21 21-11 17-21 to Denmark's Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the second round. It was their second consecutive defeat against the world number 13 combine, having lost to them at Swiss Open earlier this month.

In the men's singles, Sameer Verma too suffered a second successive loss to third seed Anders Antonsen of Denmark, going down 22-20 21-10 in the second round.

The mixed pairing of Dhruv Kapila and Meghana Jakkampudi also bowed out after losing 19-21 8-21 to Niclas Nohr and Amalie Magelund of Denmark.

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