PV Sindhu registered the most impressive win of the Tokyo Olympics to sail into the women’s singles quarter-finals.
In a one-sided pre-quarterfinal, sixth seed PV Sindhu thrashed Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 to seal her spot in the last-8 stage. The Rio Olympic silver medallist will now clash with home team favorite Akane Yamaguchi on Friday for a spot in the semifinals.
With another straight-game win, Sindhu, as expected, booked her spot in the quarters that will get underway from Friday.
Prior to the match, Sindhu had a 4-1 lead over Mia Blichfeldt in the head-to-head face-offs. It was the second successive win for Sindhu over her Danish opponent in the third fight of the year.
In January, Blichfeldt notched her maiden victory over Sindhu at the Yonex Thailand Open. However, Sindhu avenged defeat a couple of months later at the Swiss Open with a 22-20, 21-10 win.
1. Sindhu produced her best performance against Mia Blichfeldt
After two group outings where Sindhu did not have to stretch herself much, she was anticipating a tough fight from Mia. However, Sindhu was in no mood to let the momentum slip away from her and managed to create her best performance in her first knockout match of the 2021 Olympics.
Except for the start of the match where Blichfeldt took a two-point lead, Sindhu was always in control of the situation. It did not take her long to catch up and build up a lead. Sindhu pushed to her advantage to take a five-point lead at the break.
Once Sindhu got the momentum, she never looked back and closed the match in straight games.
2. Sindhu gave a strong message to her opponents with a quality display
It was important for Sindhu to win convincingly against Mia. By doing this she has sent a strong message to the likes of Yamaguchi that she is on a mission. She moved well on the court. Sindhu’s attack and defense were up to the mark. Barring a match against Mia at the start of the year, Sindhu has always had an upper hand against the Dane.
World No. 12 Blichdeldt tried to battle her way back into the game by focusing on Sindhu’s left side. The 26-year-old Indian was slightly weak at returning backhand shots. Mia took some advantage of that and cut down the deficit. But Sindhu quickly regrouped herself and started playing more aggressively.
3. Sindhu is ready for tougher challenges ahead
The business end of the tournament has begun. There will be tougher battles ahead from for the Indian shuttler. The top eight players have sealed their respective spots in the quarters and will be gunning for the title.
The reigning world champion Sindhu has stamped her authority in the three matches she played in Tokyo. Barring a few areas in her game, she cut out an impressive performance overall. The combination of Sindhu and her coach Park Tae-Sang of Korea has proved to be effective so far. The experienced coach from Korea has added value to his ward’s game and made her more powerful with her decisiveness in critical situations.
In the group stages, Blichfeldt notched up two quick wins against Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen (21-7, 21-14) and Linda Zetchiri (21-10, 21-3) but she could not match an inspired Sindhu. With confidence high, Sindhu would like to maintain her form and make further inroads into the competition.
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