BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu enters final for the second consecutive year, Sameer Verma loses
It has often been said about PV Sindhu that she is always the bridesmaid, but never the bride. But she now has a chance to prove everyone wrong, as she will play in the final of the World Tour Finals tomorrow.
Sindhu defeated Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-16, 25-23 in the semifinal match which lasted 54 minutes. With this win, the Indian has equaled her head to head record against Intanon to 4-4.
Sindhu started the match on a strong note by quickly taking a 4-2 lead. Both the players looked eager to grab the first attacking opportunity, but Sindhu always seemed a step ahead.
With some powerful smashes and brilliant retrieving skills, she managed to take an 11-8 lead at the mid-game interval. Ratchanok soon clawed back to level the scores at 12-12, but Sindhu again nosed ahead.
From 17-15 up Sindhu won four out of the next five points to close the opening game 21-16.
In the second game, Sindhu raced ahead to a 4-0 lead, but Ratchanok refused to give up. From 8-10 down she won the next three points to lead 11-10 at the mid-game interval.
After the interval, it was a neck-and-neck battle as both players played to the best of their abilities. At 19-19, Sindhu made a routine error to give Ratchanok her first game point, but she immediately leveled the scores at 20-20 with a powerful down-the-line smash to the backhand side of the Thai.
Both the players saved a couple of game and match points but eventually it was Sindhu who came out on top, winning the second game 25-23.
This is Sindhu's 6th final this year. She finished as the runner-up in each of the five times she reached the summit clash before this.
Tomorrow she will be up against former world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Okuhara defeated defending champion Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-14 in a match lasting 46 minutes.
Sindhu's head-to-head record against Okuhara is tied at 6-6, with Sindhu winning their last encounter in straight games. But just like Sindhu, Okuhara has also shown tremendous form in this tournament, and it will likely be a tough match for both women tomorrow.
Meanwhile, Sameer Verma silenced the entire crowd in Guangzhou when he earned himself a match point opportunity while leading 21-12, 20-19 against the local favourite and World No. 2 Shi Yuqi. But Shi saved the match point with a thunderous smash down the line before winning the second game 22-20.
In the third game, Shi started with a 4-0 lead and continued to dominate as he won the match 12-21, 22-20, 21-17 in one hour and eight minutes.
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 20:24 IST