It was not always smooth sailing but the current India No. 1 women’s singles shuttler PV Sindhu brought forth all her guts and fighting skills to enter the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open Superseries on Friday. The World No. 9, who overtook Saina Nehwal in the latest BWF Rankings on Thursday, eked out a hard-fought 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 win over Singapore’s World No. 32 Xiaoyu Liang.
This is the eighth win on the trot for the 21-year-old, who won the maiden Superseries title of her career at the China Open on Sunday.
Sindhu awaits the winner of the quarter-final contest between her compatriot Nehwal and World No. 26 Cheung Ngan Yi. If Nehwal manages to win, the winner of that mouthwatering all-Indian semi-final will secure the eighth spot at the prestigious BWF World Superseries Finals to be held in Dubai next month.
Sindhu started off, trailing Liang 4-6 but grew in confidence as the opening game wore on. She then jumped to snatch a lead of 14-11 which she comfortably extended to 18-14 before wrapping up at 21-17.
The second game turned out to be a gritty battle featuring long, exhausting rallies where the defence of both players were being tested thoroughly. The lead kept on rotating between the two and it was at 12-12 where the China Open champion broke away to surge to 15-12 and then 17-13.
But Liang still smartly kept on cutting down the Indian's lead and her persistence paid off when she levelled it at 18-18. The business end of the game became a thriller and it was finally on her third game point that the Singaporean succeeded in grabbing the game.
Sindhu came back from 7-14 down in decider
The decider was totally in Liang’s control in the initial part. From 8-5, she soared to 11-6 and widened the gap further to 14-7.
But the champion in Sindhu woke up just in time to erase the huge lead and make it all even at 15-15 before even seizing a tiny lead of 16-15 herself. The two then fought hard till 18-18 before the Indian pushed on the accelerator button to clinch the win in 1 hour 19 minutes.