World Championships silver medallist PV Sindhu extended her good run by storming into the semifinals of the Korea Open Super Series in Seoul on Friday.
The rest of the Indian squad comprising Sameer Verma and the doubles team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty tumbled out. Sameer ran out of gas against world No. Wan Ho Son of Korea 22-20, 10-21, 1321. Satwik and Chirag, who reached their first ever Super Series quarterfinal, gave a good account of themselves despite losing to third seeds Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda of Japan 14-21, 21-17, 15-21. The Indians boys, who are ranked 39 in the world, gave a tough fight to the world No.4 team.
Meanwhile, Sindhu recovered from a mid-match slump to oust Minatsu Mitani of Japan 21-19, 16-21, 21-10.Mitani, who stunned world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying on Thursday, was in good touch against Sindhu. With the Indian ahead 19-16, Mitani levelled the scores at 19-19, but Sindhu managed to score two big points to take the first game. Trailing 4-8 in the second, Sindhu wiped off the deficit with a sixpoint burst and surged into lead at 13-11. Sindhu committed some unforced errors here and allowed Mita ni to lead 16-13. The Japanese girl went on to win the game and pushed the contest into the decider.
Wary of Mitani’s abilities, Sindhu secured a big early lead of 9-2 in the third and never looked back.
Sindhu said that long rallies and unforced errors complicated the situation for her. “It was a good match today and there were several long rallies. I committed some unforced errors in the second and was a bit nervous. But in the third game I managed to take an early lead and maintained it,” Sindhu told ToI.
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The world No.4, who reached her second Super Series semifinal in 2017, will face He Binjiao of China on Saturday. Sixth seed Bingjiao defeated third seed Ji Hyun Sung of Korea 21-19, 16-21, 21-19 in the quarters.
Sindhu has a 3-5 win-loss record against the world No.7. “I just have to play my game and give my best tomorrow,” she said. Results: Men’s singles: 1
Sameer, Praneeth improve in ranking
Sai Praneeth and Sameer Verma improved a rung each to reach the 16th and 25th spots respectively in the latest BWF ranking. Ajay Jayaram slipped a place to be at 17th. K Srikanth remains the best placed man at eighth spot, while H S Prannoy also was static at the 18th. PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were static at the fourth and 12th positions respectively.