Asian Games 2018: Saina Nehwal settles for bronze, PV Sindhu moves into finals
It was a good day for Indian shuttlers as Saina Nehwal bagged Bronze while PV Sindhu became the first Indian female shuttler to progress into the finals of Asian Games played at Jakarta on Monday.
Saina Nehwal took on top-seeded Tai Tzu Ying in the first semi-finals. Tai Tzu Ying began on a positive note taking a 2-0 lead and maintained the lead till 5-3. Saina Nehwal made a strong comeback into the match by levelling the score at 8-8. At the interval, Tai Tzu Ying had a slender lead of 11-10. After the interval, the top-seeded player Tai Tzu Ying showed her aggression and won the first set 21-17.
Tai Tzu Ying began the second game also on a positive note with 5-1 lead. Saina Nehwal showed great aggression to level the score at 6-6 and continued to take alternate points till 10-10. Tai Tzu Ying led 11-10 at the interval. After the interval, it was close fought match till 14-14 before the top seed player Tai Tzu Ying won set 21-14 to progress into the finals. Saina Nehwal won a historic bronze medal for the country.
In the second semi-finals, PV Sindhu took on Akane Yamaguchi. In the first game, the Japanese began on a good note taking a 2-0 lead. Both players fought for each point till 8-8. At the interval, PV Sindhu led 11-8. After the interval, Sindhu showed great aggression and never allowed Yamaguchi to come back into game-winning first set 21-17.
It was a close fought second set as both players fought for each point. PV Sindhu was 9-6 up but Yamaguchi showed great fighting spirit to take 11-10 lead at the interval. After the interval, the Japanese player created pressure on PV Sindhu winning second set 21-15 to force the match into a decider.
In the deciding game, both players took alternate points till 3-3. PV Sindhu then showed aggressive intent, taking points in succession. At the interval, the 2 time World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu led 11-7. After the interval, Sindhu continued to play aggressively winning third set 21-10 to progress into the finals.
PV Sindhu became the first Indian male or female shuttler to progress into the finals of Asian Games history. She will face a tough hurdle taking on world number 1 Tai Tzu Ying.