Sindhu enters Thailand Open final

IANS
Saturday, 14 July 2018

India's star shuttler PV Sindhu overcame Indonesian Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in three games here on Saturday to set-up the Thailand Open women's singles final against reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.

Bangkok: India's star shuttler PV Sindhu overcame Indonesian Gregoria Mariska Tunjung in three games here on Saturday to set-up the Thailand Open women's singles final against reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan.

World No.29 Gregoria stretched World No.5 Sindhu in the first two games of a semi-final. Second seed Sindhu dug deep to win the first game 23-21 before losing the second game 16-21. Gregoria ran out of gas in the third game, which Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu comfortably won with a 21-9 margin.

Gregoria started strong, taking an 11-7 lead in the first game. After the mid-game break, Sindhu showed urgency in reducing the deficit to one with the Indonesian stranded at 11 points.

However, Gregoria continued her impressive start as she held a four-point advantage at 16-12.

Sending the need to come out all guns blazing, Sindhu stepped up her game and quickly eliminated the deficit at the 16-point mark.

Later, both Sindhu and Gregoria alternated a point each till the 21-point mark after which Sindhu sealed the game in style.

In the second game, Sindhu continued from where she left as opened up a 9-5 lead. But the gutsy Indonesian came up with a seven-point streak to not only pull level at the nine-point mark but also to hold a 12-9 lead.

After Sindhu earned a point, Greogria enjoyed another brilliant phase as she bagged four consecutive points which gave her a 16-10 lead before pocketing the second game 21-16.

Sindhu, however, turned the heat in the third game. Starting strongly, she raced to a 5-1 advantage before Gregoria fought valiantly to reduce the gap to one point with the Indian leading 8-7.

Having put in so much of effort, Gregoria looked tired and lacked energy as Sindhu went on a roll by pocketing 10 successive points.

An 18-7 lead for Sindhu almost sealed the Indian's path to the final as she sealed the third game 21-9.

However, Sindhu faces a tough battle in the final against Okuhara, defeated United States seventh seed Beiwen Zhang 21-17, 21-10 in 34 minutes in the other semi-final.

Prior to Sunday's final, three-time World Championship medallist Sindhu and 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Okuhara have fought 10 times in their careers, with both winning five times each.

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