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Sindhu shocks Wang Shixian, enters quarterfinals

Dev Sukumar
EXPERT COLUMNIST
Modified 18 Apr 2013, 17:25 IST
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Yonex Sunrise India Open 2012

PV Sindhu scored one of her career’s biggest wins when she upset third seed Wang Shixian in the pre-quarterfinals of the Badminton Asia Championships on Thursday. The Indian even saved one match point on her way to winning the match.

Meanwhile, her compatriot Sai Praneeth could not triumph in his match over another Chinese, Wang Zhengming. Praneeth lost in the pre-quarterfinals, 21-15 21-16.

Shixian, one of the top Chinese players of the last few years, was shocked by the Indian 15-21 21-14 22-20. The win was Sindhu’s biggest since her defeat of Olympic champion Li Xuerui at the China Masters last year. This was the first meeting between the Indian and the Chinese. Sindhu next takes on seventh seed Eriko Hirose of Japan, and she stands an excellent chance of beating the Japanese veteran and entering the semifinals.

It was Shixian who dominated the match early, and had a comfortable lead right through the first game as she clinched it 21-15.

But the Indian completely reversed the trend in the second game – from 4-1 up, she snatched the next ten points to just two by Shixian; Sindhu easily won the second game 21-14. The Indian continued with that momentum to hold a slight lead until 8-7, after which she shot ahead 17-8.

Shixian refused to give in, and slowly inched her way back, winning eight points in a row to come within a point at 16-17. From then it became a tense battle, and Shixian eventually went ahead 20-19, just one point away from winning the match. Sindhu fought back from the brink, keeping her head under pressure to win the next three points and the match, 22-20.

Published 18 Apr 2013, 17:24 IST
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