Tokyo Olympics: PV Sindhu smashes her way into the semi-finals upsetting Akane Yamaguchi
PV Sindhu thrashes Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in their 19th meeting in straight games to book herself a spot in the semi-finals!
There is simply no stopping PV Sindhu at the Tokyo Olympics this time, as the World No. 7 Indian shuttler braved past Japan's Akane Yamaguchi and produced a shock upset. Needing 56 minutes to reach the finish line, PV Sindhu became the first Indian shuttler to make it to the semi-finals of the Olympics, two times in a row.
Having already had the upper edge over the sprightly little Japanese star, Akane Yamaguchi, leading their head to head at 11-7, PV Sindhu extended her dominance over the World No. 5 ace by winning today's encounter in pure style. With this victory, PV Sindhu ended all hopes of Japan to bag a medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the Singles events.
Earlier today, Japan's Nozomi Okuhara, the 2016 Rio Olympics bronze medallist, went down fighting to China's He Bingjiao, 13-21, 21-13, 21-14 in the quarters. Meanwhile, it was the end of the road for World No. 1 Japanese sensation, Kento Momota as well, as he failed to even qualify his group stage.
The quality of the players was impeccable which was evident from the very first rally of the first game itself. Both the players were looking to dominate each other and we could see some mouth-watering rallies between them. The Japanese showed some unbelievable acrobatic skills on the court which was a treat to the eyes.
Sindhu, on the other hand, looked the superior player as she played arguably her best badminton so far in the tournament. She mixed it well with her deft touches at the net with powerful smashes down the line and also the beautiful and deceiving drop shots. She deservingly took the first set, 21-13.
If you had to describe the second game, it'd be like investing in the stock market and seeing the highs-lows at the same time over the course of time. The second game had everything. Determination from both he players, long and exhaustive rallies of top quality, tension, a see-saw battle, comebacks and most importantly, a supremely contested match.
Yamaguchi looked down and out for most of the set and the Indian would have thought that Sindhu would win it comprehensively from there. But, the Japanese had some other plans as she made a remarkable comeback and at one point, won 6 out of the 7 points on offer. Not only did she make an astounding comeback where all seemed lost, she even took a two-point lead and that too at a crucial juncture of the match. The Indians would have been at the edge of the seats as it got tense in the final stages of the game.
But, the champion PV Sindhu is, she held on to her nerves and pocketed the second game 22-20 and thus made her way into the semi finals where she awaits the winner between lntanon Ratchanok and Tai Tzu-Ying.