Sindhu enters Hong Kong Open semis
Hong Kong, Nov 25 (IANS) India's star shuttler P.V. Sindhu won a tough three-set battle to defeat Xiaoyu Liang of Singapore and enter the semi-finals of the Hong Kong Open badminton tournament here on Friday.
The Olympic silver medallist faced a tough challenge at the Hong Kong Coliseum before scripting a 21-17, 21-23, 21-18 win in one hour and 19 minutes.
The 21-year-old could face compatriot Saina Nehwal in the last four stage if Saina wins her quarter-final later in the day.
Sindhu was off to a difficult start with Liang taking the lead in the early stages of the opening game.
She trailed by three points at one stage but pulled alevel at 8-8.
A run of four consecutive points saw her take a 14-10 lead and the Indian never looked back from there, going on to take the first game.
The second game was a bitterly fought affair. Liang again enjoyed a better start, taking a 3-0 lead but Sindhu soon restored parity.
The lead changed hands several times with the Indian taking a 16-12 lead at one stage following a four-point streak.
Liang equalised at 18-18 which set up a tense finish. With both shuttlers locked at 21-21, the Singaporean took a couple of back-to-back points to take the second game and level the scores.
Sindhu was in trouble in the third set as well with her opponent leading 14-7 at one stage. But the Hyderabad shuttler staged a superb fightback to win six back to back points and draw level at 15-15.
With the momentum firmly behind her, Sindhu continued her resurgence to clinch the game and the match.