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Thailand Open 2018: PV Sindhu makes short work of Soniia Cheah to enter semi-finals; Akane Yamaguchi ousted

FEATURED COLUMNIST
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518   //    13 Jul 2018, 21:13 IST

Blibli Indonesia Open - Day 4
PV Sindhu

Indian shuttle queen PV Sindhu kept the country’s hopes alive by making it through to the semi-finals of the Toyota Thailand Open 2018 at Bangkok on Friday. The second seed needed just 36 minutes to beat the Malaysian shuttler Soniia Cheah 21-17, 21-13 in the quarter-final clash.

The India No. 1 will next take on the 29th ranked Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia for a place in Sunday’s summit clash.

The 35th ranked Cheah made a bright start to the match as she had an upper hand over the World No. 3, having gone into the mid-game interval with an 11-7 lead. The complexion of the match changed from thereon as the Indian found her rhythm and range to level the score at 12-12.

With some sublime dropshots, the Indian nudged ahead to 15-13, making life difficult for the Malaysian. As the unforced errors from Cheah kept mounting, her brief fightback got stalled and Sindhu wrapped up the first game 21-17.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist picked up from where she left and made a bright start to the second game, building a 7-3 lead. The Malaysian worked her way back into the game and drew level at 8-8.

Sindhu brought forth her power game right after that and did not allow Cheah any room to breathe. Sindhu raced ahead to 19-10 and then had several match points at 20-11, before closing out the match with the loss of another couple of points.

Sindhu is the last Indian standing at this Super 500 tournament following the loss of HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma and Parupalli Kashyap on Thursday.

Yamaguchi upset

Meanwhile, the tournament witnessed a huge upset as the top seed and World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi was sent packing in the quarter-finals. The All England Open runner-up went down fighting 21-14, 19-21, 19-21 in 50 minutes to the seventh seed and World No. 12 Beiwen Zhang.

World champion Nozomi Okuhara, however, was able to stave off a mighty challenge from her compatriot Aya Ohori for a 21-12, 15-21, 21-19 win.

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FEATURED COLUMNIST
A freelance journalist based in Kolkata who is a diehard Rafael Nadal fan. She is also extremely passionate about India’s progress in sports and hopes to throw light on India’s unsung sports heroes through her articles. When not screaming her lungs out in support of her favourite sports stars, she can be seen reading, watching movies or immersed in planning her next travel destination!
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