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All England Open 2018: PV Sindhu beats Okuhara in the quarter finals 

Pavan Suresh
ANALYST
News
366   //    16 Mar 2018, 23:12 IST

E-Plus Badminton Asia Team Championships 2018
Sindhu fought back from a game down to beat Okuhara

PV Sindhu avenged her World Championship loss by beating Okuhara in three grueling and equally contested sets of the quarterfinals of All England Open 2018 played at Arena Birmingham on Friday.

It was a thrilling match between these two top players who fought for each point right from word go. Okuhara won the first set in a closely fought game 22-20. Rio Olympic silver medallist came back strongly to win 2nd one 21-18.

In the third set, both players fought for each point but Sindhu reversed the game holding her nerves and progressed into the semi-finals.

In the first game, Sindhu started well taking a 4-3 lead. Both players fought for alternate point and Okuhara equaled the scores at 9-9.

At the interval, the World Champion Okuhara had a slender 11-10 lead. After the interval, the intense battle between two players continued till the score reached 20-20. Okuhara took two points in succession to win the first set 22-20.

The second game was also an exciting battle with Sindhu leading at 3-1 in the early stages. Both players continued to fight for each point and never allowed the opponent to take more than two points lead at any time.

Sindhu had a 9-7 lead before Okuhara took two successive points to level the scores at 9-9, but Sindhu came back at the interval, to lead 11-9.

After the break, she continued aggression taking a 14-11 lead. Okuhara then showed a great fighting spirit and leveled the score at 16-16, continued to take a slender lead of 18-16. At this moment, Sindhu was looking out of the tournament.

However, she fought back to level the score at 18-18 and continued to take another three points in succession winning the second game 21-18.

The third game saw Okuhara begin on aggressive note taking a 4-1 lead. Sindhu played down 2-5 played an intelligent game to equal the score at 6-6.

The game progressed as a neck to neck battle getting Sindhu a slender lead of 10-8. Okuhara then fought back and took 3 points in succession to take an 11-10 lead at the interval.

After the interval, the Japanese continued to build her lead to reach 16-12. Sindhu again showed great fighting spirit and leveled the score at 16-16. The match was heading for an exciting finish with scores reading 18-18. Then came the best show of Sindhu in which she took three points in succession to win an epic battle and progress into the semi-finals.

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