PV Sindhu struck form at a crucial stage as she made a splendid comeback to beat Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 16-21, 21-16, 21-19 in the quarterfinal of the All England Badminton Championships in Birmingham on Friday.
After losing the first game, Sindhu shifted gears and with a scintillating display of badminton to reach her second semifinal at this prestigious event.
The two shuttlers played perhaps the best match of the day and Sindhu sneaked to victory after Yamaguchi made a couple of errors at 19-19 in the third game.
Sindhu looked completely different from what she was in the last two months. She displayed glimpses of the fantastic form she exhibited at the World Championships a couple of years back. Some of her strokes were packed with full power and she mostly relied on the fast paced game.
Her strength has always been attack and on Friday it was in full measure. Though she looked a bit tired in the third, her smashes never lacked the deadly punch. She moved well on the court, retrieved almost everything and was quick at the net.
She looked a lot focused and that’s what she told the BWF website after the win. “I was very focussed. I’m happy about reaching the semifinals, but it’s not over yet,” Sindhu said, adding that the Asian leg wasn’t good for her.
“The Asian leg wasn’t good for me. I was really focussed after that, and the training was good. Beating Mia in the Swiss Open was very important, I’d lost to her in Bangkok,” she added.
On the match against Yamaguchi she said, “Firstly, I am playing against her after quite a long time. I think 2019. We haven’t played at all. I’m sure she would have trained very hard. Today’s match was very good, tough, long match I would say.”
Sindhu admitted that she made a lot of errors in the first game. “I was making a lot of errors and hitting them out because I was on the side with the stronger drift. The second game, it wasn’t in my favour. A lot of long rallies. It was important to get that second game. In the third game, it was very crucial. I think I really appreciate myself. My coach was very supportive, he was making sure I controlled the shuttle well. Overall, it was anybody’s game, but I am happy to be on the winning side,” Sindhu told the BWF website.
In the semifinals, the lanky Indian will face Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand, who defeated Beiwen Zhang of the USA 21-16, 21-19 in the quarterfinals.
Sindhu enjoys a 4-1 win-loss record against Pornpawee and is expected to win the semifinal without much difficulty.
Sindhu said she will have to give 100 percent to win the semifinal. “It is very important for me because I really fought hard to come to here. It’s important to be focused and go back and rest myself to come back stronger. I’ll be playing against Pornpawee. She’s been playing really well so I’m sure I have to be very well prepared and give it 100 percent,” Sindhu said.
From the bottom-half of the draw, Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand and Nozomi Okuhara of Japan reached the semifinals.