PV Sindhu enters semi-finals, Saina Nehwal exits

HYDERABAD, Aug 3: On a day when top seeds tumbled, defending champions faltered, a 117-stroke rally enthralled the fans, PV Sindhu ensured a World Championships medal for India.
Saina Nehwal, Sai Praneeth and mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Ranki Reddy lost but Sindhu dethroned Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a clinical fashion 21-17, 21-19 to storm into the semi-finals.
“I am happy with my performance but it is not over yet. Tomorrow it is the semifinal and I have to play another Japanese girl. I have to be very much prepared and rest now. I have to come back strong against Yamaguchi,” said Sindhu, adding that she was very patient throughout.
“I knew that it is going be very long and I have to be very patient. When I was down at 8-11 in the second game, I backed myself and came back strong,” she added.
This would be Sindhu’s fourth medal at the Worlds. The lanky shuttler would be facing second seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan, who downed Chen Yufei of China in the other quarter-final. Sindhu enjoys a 6-4 win-loss record against Yamaguchi.
Sindhu fought back from big deficits — 3-7 in the first and 3-9 in the second — to get past her rival. Only a few weeks back, Sindhu lost to Okuhara in the final of Thailand Open. The 23-year-old, who won silver last year, will be keen to go the distance this time.
Earlier, Saina was clueless as she caved in against Carolina Marin 6-21, 11-21.
Even before Saina could get the feel of the conditions, the first game was over. Marin was at her aggressive best, hitting everything hard, yelling in her usual fashion and giving no time for Saina to react. (Agencies)