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Sindhu seals first final spot of season at Indonesia Open


PV Sindhu of India returns a shot to Chen Yu Fei of China during their women’s singles semifinal match in the Indonesia Open badminton championship at Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday. – AP/PTI
 JAKARTA, July 20: Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu enjoyed one of her finest hours of the season as she entered the finals of the Indonesia Open BWF Tour Super 1000 tournament with a straight-game win over All England Champion Chen Yufei of China here on Saturday.

Sindhu, who has been struggling a bit this season, showed her brilliance once again as she saw off world no 3 Chen 21-19, 21-10 to enter her first final of the season.

The World no 5 Indian, who reached the semifinals at Singapore and India Open this year, thus set up a summit clash with Japan’s fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi.

Sindhu holds a 10-4 advantage over Yamaguchi, whom she has beaten in the last four meetings.

Chen, who won at Australia, Swiss and All England this year, has been the most prolific player this season and looked good in the first game but a fighting Sindhu held her own in the opening game and then completely dominated the second to seal the final spot.

The match started with a long rally but soon Sindhu fell behind at 4-7. The Indian then reeled off five straight points with Chen playing two bad shots. But a body smash helped the Chinese to span the run of points as she grabbed a slight 11-10 advantage at the break.

But even after the break, the Indian kept breathing down Chen’s neck and grabbed seven of the last eight points that mattered to pocket the opening game.

Chen moved to 15-12 with a few good-looking smashes. But Sindhu fought back and produced a precise return, and then Chen went wide before finding the net as the Indian erased the deficit and made it 18-18.

Sindhu caught the shuttle early and produced an acute angled return near the nets to grab a one point lead. But she went wide next and it was 19-19. – PTI

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