File Photo : P.V.Sindhu
SPORTINGINDIA|04-Aug-2018 21:32

P V Sindhu got into her second successive World Championship final with a thrilling straight-set win over second-seeded Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-16, 24-22 in 54 minutes. She will face Carolina Marin of Spain in the finals which will be a repeat of the 2016 Olympics final.

In the first set Japanese won the first 5 points to lead 5-0 but Sindhu won her first point in the set with a smash and go on to win three consecutive points in a row to reduce the lead to 2.  After that, both of them exchanged points and Yamaguchi lead 8-4. Sindhu won the next with a smash down the line and carried the confidence to win the next five points to lead 9-8. Japanese came back and went into the break with a slender one-point advantage.

After the interval, Sindhu stopped her with a superb net exchange followed by a smash to level the set 12-12. She won 8 points in a row to gain a 6 point advantage at 18-12. During this period, she frustrated the opponent with her retrieving ability and defensive skills to force errors from the Japanese. Second-seeded player tried to come back but Sindhu kept on winning points and won the set with a fabulous net shot 21-16 in 20 minutes.

Yamaguchi took an early four-point lead 7-3 in the second set with nice smashes and net plays but Sindhu won her 4th point with a nice cross court drop to stop the opponent. From that moment both of them started to win points but Yamaguchi won three consecutive points from 8-7 to go into the mid break interval with a four advantage 11-7.

After the interval, Japanese maintained the lead and stepped on the gas at 14-11 to win the next 5 points to make it 19-14. It seemed like the match could be a three-set affair but Sindhu came back like a lion to win the next 8 points to have a match point at 20-19.

But the Japanese played a great net shot to level it 20-20 and won a game point with a super body smash at Sindhu. Yamaguchi made a service fault which allowed Sindhu to level 21-21 and another error gave the Indian another match point. Japanese played a 42shot rally and won it to level 22—22. The rally was the longest one of the match. An error by Yamaguchi gave Sindhu her third match point and she converted it with a nice net shot to win the match and go into the finals.

The match brought the never dying spirit of Sindhu into play and showed that she can comeback at any moment. Indian did not have a set plan but had different kind of plans to counter the opponent. The decision to change the plans according to the situation of the match made her win the semifinal clash. Sindhu can surely change the color of the medal this time if she can come with a proper strategy displayed by her in the last two matches.