BWF World Tour Finals 2018: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma win their final group games
PV Sindhu defeated World No. 12 Zhang Beiwen of USA 21-9, 21-15 in a match lasting only 35 minutes to storm into the semifinals of the BWF World Tour Finals.
Zhang had defeated Sindhu in three of their last four encounters, including the one in the India Open Finals. But today Sindhu was well prepared to tackle her tricky opponent.
Her win against Tai Tzu Ying yesterday had probably boosted her confidence as she won the first game at a canter, taking it 21-9.
In the second game, Sindhu started from where she left off in the first. She sprinted to a 7-3 lead, after which she lost her concentration a little and lost four straight points. But she bounced back without wasting any time, and led 11-8 at the mid-game interval.
After the interval, it was a one-sided affair as Zhang failed to match her opponent and lost the game 15-21.
With this win, Sindhu zoomed to the top of group A with three victories. The winner of the match between Tai Tzu Ying and Akane Yamaguchi will decide the other player that will qualify from the group.
In the other half of women's singles, Nozomi Okuhara has topped Group B. Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand has also qualified for the semi-finals from that group.
In men's singles, Sameer Verma proved to be too good for his Thai opponent Kantaphon Wangcharoen as he won the match 21-9, 21-18 in 45 minutes.
The first game was like a piece of cake for Verma as he won it 21-9 without any trouble. In the second, the Indian often had comfortable leads but his Thai opponent refused to give up.
Wangcharoen kept trying to close the gap, but Verma's great control in the rallies always gave him the upper hand. Leading 19-17, Verma won a 62-shot rally with a delicate drop to earn himself three-match points.
Wangcharoen saved one, but today Verma was in no mood to relax as he pocketed the second game 21-18. With this win, the Indian has put himself in good position to qualify for the knockout round.
The draw for tomorrow's semifinals will be announced later in the evening.