PV Sindhu, the two-time World Championship bronze has kept the hopes of the medal alive as she entered to the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition after she grabbed a dominating straight-game win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying at the Rio Olympic Games 2016.
Sindhu outclassed eighth seed Tai 21-13 21-15 in a pre-quarterfinals clash which lasted for 40 minutes. The 21-year-old from Hyderabad will next play against the winner of Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi and Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.
Sindhu has beaten Tai Tzu last at the Denmark Open last year and now she has a 2-4 record against her. Sindhu opened up with a 3-1 lead early and Tai came back to draw level at 5-5 but the Indian star shuttler managed to lead 11-6 at the break.
While Sindhu was playing with a better presence of mind, Tai was inconsistent with her placements sometimes. Tai depended on her deceptive game to reduce the margin to 10-12 but Sindhu won a video referral to reach the game point at 20-13.
Sindhu once again moved to a 3-1 lead after the change of ends, but she misjudged twice on her backhand returns which cause her to give away two points.
After Sindhu dropped her serve, Tai tried to pick up the pace and came up with a few down the line smashes to make it 6-6 but the inability to rein in her unforced errors gave Sindhu another chance and she moved to 11-6 at the interval.
Sindhu was in full flow with her powerful smashes and that left Tai clueless. Tai tried to put pressure but Indian shuttler sailed away to a 14-7 lead.
The Chinese shuttler was not able to play her game and found it difficult to control the shuttle. After she hit long twice, Sindhu moved to a lead of 17-11.
A couple of drop shots by Taiwan shuttler seemed that she lost her rhythm and she gifted eight match points to Sindhu as she smashed one to the net, that took Sindhu to 19-12.
Although, Tai struggled hard to get back in the game and saved three match points before Sindhu saw the triumph of her victory.
16 August 2016
Avni S. Singh