Sindhu outclasses Intanon to enter final; Sameer loses
London: Continuing with her sizzling form, Indian badminton star P V Sindhu breezed into the summit clash of the World Tour Finals for the second successive time after prevailing over 2013 World champion Ratchanok Intanon in a tense semi-final, in Guangzhou, on Saturday.
Sindhu, who finished runner-up at the last edition, staved off a strong challenge from the fighting Thai to emerge a 21-16, 25-23 winner in 54 minutes.
However, it was curtains for debutant Sameer Verma in the men’s singles. The Indian had to swallow a bitter pill as he squandered a match point advantage in the second game to go down 21-12, 20-22, 17-21 to All England Champion and World Championship silver medallist Shi Yuqi of China in the men’s singles semis.
The 23-year-old Indian came into the match with a 3-4 record against the Thai player but Sindhu was buoyed by her recent results as she has not lost to Intanon in the last two years.
In Sunday’s final, the Olympic silver medallist will fight for the title against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, to whom she had lost an epic World Championship final, last year.
The duo started on an equal note, splitting the initial 14 points. Sindhu tried to attack the long serves of Intanon, putting pressure on the Thai with her power-packed returns to lead 10-7. The Indian missed a couple of points before entering the break with a small 11-9 advantage.
Intanon quickly erased the deficit with a brilliant angled return at the net. While the Thai shuttler tried to target Sindhu’s body, she also committed errors of judgement and went wide allowing Sindhu to stay a step ahead always.
Sindhu tried to put some lovely touch to her returns, leaving Intanon wrong footed many times. She also unleashed some powerful smashes to trouble the Thai player.