HYDERABAD: “This is unbelievable,” exclaimed a commentator during the BWF World Championships semifinal between PV Sindhu and China’s Chen Yu Fei on Saturday. The reaction was understandable.
The Indian had gone past one of the brightest woman shuttlers with a remarkable 21-7, 21-14 victory in just 40 minutes.
Sindhu made her third straight Worlds final in the process. With eight match-points, Sindhu brushed aside the World No 3.
“Before the match had begun, if you had said that this is how it is going to be, I would have laughed really hard,” said another commentator.
Yu Fei had been in sublime touch this season. She has won four titles since January, from All England Championships to Thailand Open, just before Worlds. The only shuttlers who had troubled her were World No 1 Akane Yamaguchi and Sindhu. Yu Fei was rendered clueless during the encounter, as Sindhu toyed with her. The shuttler battled a runny nose while demolishing the Chinese. Speaking after the match, Sindhu said: “I am really happy with the win.
I was well-prepared, and maintained the lead from the beginning. Even though I gave away a few points in the end, the big lead helped me a lot. From the first part, it was really important for me to not take things easy. And I didn’t, even though I was leading. Yeah, I am suffering from a bit of a cold, but that did not bother me much.”
The World No 5 will have a deja vu moment when she faces Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara on Sunday. The latter had defeated her in the 2017 final.
“I will give my 100 per cent. The rest I don’t know. That should be fine. There’s not much of strategy, because we know each other’s game. We play each other all the time. It’s just that on the court, every point matters,” she told BWF.
The manner in which the Indian achieved her victory can also be attributed to the sensational quarterfinal win against India’s biggest nemesis, Tai Tzu-ying, a day ago.
“It was a really good match and taking out such close matches gives a big boost to confidence. I hope I can prepare well and come back stronger tomorrow,” Sindhu had said after confirming a Worlds medal for the fifth time on Friday.
Sindhu has showcased her A-game during this edition. If she continues with the same momentum, the first-ever Worlds gold for an Indian does seem to be a strong probability.
Praneeth settles for bronze
It was heartbreak for B Sai Praneeth, who went down meekly to World No 1 and defending Kento Momota 21-13, 21-8 in the semis. But that was before he became the first Indian male player in 36 years to seal a medal at the World Championships.