BANGKOK: PV Sindhu eked out a three-game win over World No.1 Akane Yamaguchi (Japan) here on Friday to enter the Thailand Open women’s singles semi-finals.
The sixth-seeded Sindhu prevailed 2115, 20-22, 21-13 over second seed Yamaguchi to set up a last-four meeting with Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei (China). There was nothing to separate in the initial phase of the first game as Sindhu relied on her cross-court slices and drops to trouble Yamaguchi, who let the Indian lead 11-9 at the break.
Yamaguchi reeled off five successive points, only for Sindhu to return the favour with seven points on the bounce. After securing five game points, the Indian sealed the opener when an off-balance Yamaguchi sent the shuttle to the net.
Sindhu continued to dominate as she held a 11-5 advantage halfway through the second game. But, Yamaguchi fought her way back and reduced the deficit to two points at 11-13. After being locked at 16-16, the Japanese delivered a smash and produced a precise on-the-line return to gain two game points. While the Indian saved two game points, she faltered on her serve and then sent the shuttle long, which took the match to the decider.
After holding a six-point (11-5) cushion at the breather, Sindhu moved to 1511, thanks to errors from Yamaguchi. Having clinched eight match points, the Indian converted on the second attempt.