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Sindhu knocks out London gold winner out of China Masters

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Changzhou - India’s P.V. Sindhu recorded the biggest win of her career Friday when she stunned London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China to enter the women’s singles semifinals at the China Masters Superseries badminton event here Friday.

Ajay Jayaram made the men’s singles semifinals after beating compatriot Sourabh Varma 12-21, 21-14, 21-16 at the Olympics Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium here.

Sindhu, seen as another emerging world-class player after Saina Nehwal, held her nerve for a 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 win over the World No.2, who is also the reigning All England champion. She will have to beat another Chinese, Jiang Yanjiao, for a place in the final.

The 45-minute battle was an absorbing one with both players making a slew of unforced errors while going for their shots. The aggression though worked better for Sindhu, who came up with 26 smash winners to Xuerui’s 20. She also conjured up nine net winners, one more than the Chinese.

A win seemed distant for the 17-year-old Indian when Xuerui, 21, ran through the second game to level the contest. But Sindhu showed remarkable grit and courage in the decider for a memorable win.

Sindhu ran to hug her coach Pullela Gopichand after Xuerui netted a back hand on the first match-point.

The Hyderabadi defeated an opponent who has been the best player of the year, winning four titles besides the Olympic gold at London.


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