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Sindhu enters Hong Kong Open semis

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Hong Kong, Nov 25 (IANS) India's star shuttler P.V. Sindhu won a tough three-set battle to defeat Xiaoyu Liang of Singapore and enter the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open badminton tournament here on Friday.

The Olympic silver medallist faced a tough challenge at the Hong Kong Coliseum before scripting a 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 win in one hour and 19 minutes.

The 21-year-old could face compatriot Saina Nehwal in the last four stage if Saina wins her quarter-final later in the day.

Sindhu was off to a difficult start with Liang taking the lead in the early stages of the opening game.

She trailed by three points at one stage but pulled alevel at 8-8.

A run of four consecutive points saw her take a 14-10 lead and the Indian never looked back from there, going on to take the first game.

The second game was a bitterly fought affair. Liang again enjoyed a better start, taking a 3-0 lead but Sindhu soon restored parity.

The lead changed hands several times with the Indian taking a 16-12 lead at one stage following a four-point streak.

Liang equalised at 18-18 which set up a tense finish. With both shuttlers locked at 21-21, the Singaporean took a couple of back-to-back points to take the second game and level the scores.

Sindhu was in trouble in the third set as well with her opponent leading 14-7 at one stage. But the Hyderabad shuttler staged a superb fightback to win six back to back points and draw level at 15-15.

With the momentum firmly behind her, Sindhu continued her resurgence to clinch the game and the match.

--IANS

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