Manila: PV Sindhu eked out a thrilling win over China’s He Bing Jiao to enter the women’s singles semi-finals of the Badminton Asia Championships here on Friday.
With the victory, Sindhu assured herself of a medal at the continental tournament. Later in the day, the fifth-seeded Malaysian pair of Aaron Chia and Soh Wooi Yik beat India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty 12-21, 21-14, 21-16 in men’s doubles last-eight.
Fourth seed Sindhu got the better of the fifth-seeded Chinese 21-9, 13-21, 21-19 in a quarter-final match that lasted an hour and 16 minutes. Sindhu made her intent clear from the start as she galloped to 11-2 in no time and then kept things under her firm grip to take a 1-0 lead in the match. In the second game, Bing Jiao came back strongly as errors flew from Sindhu’s racquet.
The Chinese soon moved to a 6-4 lead before managing a slender 11-10 advantage at the break. World No.9 Bing Jiao looked for angles in her returns while Sindhu was guilty of making too many mistakes. After the interval, the Chinese reeled off five points on the trot to grab a 19-12 lead and later roar back into the match.
In the decider, the score was 2-2 early on as Sindhu looked to step up the pace. Soon, she unleashed her cross-court smashes to gather points, moving to a massive 11-5 lead. Bing Jiao, however, scripted a recovery after the break to narrow down the deficit to 15-16 as Sindhu let the momentum slip despite being 15-9 up.
It was 18-16 next with Sindhu’s slice hitting the net. The Indian then unleashed a body smash before earning four match points. The Chinese saved three match points, but Sindhu converted the fourth.