PV Sindhu en­ters Korea Open Su­per­series semi­fi­nals with 3-game win over Mi­natsu Mi­tani

India’s World No.5 stamps author­ity in de­cid­ing game to beat Ja­pan’s Mi­tani in quar­ter­fi­nals; Sameer goes down fight­ing to top seed Wan

DNA (Delhi) - - FRONT PAGE -

Seoul: Olympic sil­ver medal­list PV Sindhu pro­gressed to the semi­fi­nals of women’s sin­gles but it was cur­tains for Sameer Verma in the men’s sin­gles event at the $600,000 Korea Open Su­per­series here on Fri­day.

Sindhu, who had won the sil­ver at the World Cham­pi­onships last month, re­cov­ered from a mid-game slump to stave off the chal­lenge from world No. 19 Mi­natsu Mi­tani of Ja­pan 21-19 16-21 21-10 in a match that lasted 63 min­utes.

The fifth seeded In­dian, who had a 1-1 head-to-head record against the Ja­panese, will next face He Bingjiao, seeded sixth at the SK Hand­ball Sta­dium here.

Sindhu eked out a 6-2 lead early on in the open­ing game but Mi­tani man­aged to claw back and turn the ta­bles around, reach­ing 11-9 at the break. Af­ter a close bat­tle till 16-16, Sindhu jumped to 19-16.

Mi­tani then erased the deficit but Sindhu en­sured she had the brag­ging rights af­ter the first game as she sealed it quickly.

In the sec­ond game, Mi­tani opened up a 8-4 lead but Sindhu sur­passed her soon and was lead­ing 12-9. But the Ja­panese once again clawed back at 13-13 and then moved away from the In­dian to roar back into the con­test.

In the de­cider, Sindhu showed her class as she didn’t give any chance to Mi­tani to make any re­cov­ery af­ter zoom­ing to a 9-2 lead. She was 11-6 at the break, which she ex­tended to 19-9 af­ter the in­ter­val, be­fore slam­ming the door on the Ja­panese.

Sameer was fac­ing the top seed Son Wan Ho, whom he had de­feated a lit­tle more than five months ago in the open­ing round at India Su­per­series in March. But since then, the Korean has climbed to the top of world rank­ing.

Sameer once again tried to get across the Korean but gritty Wan beat the In­dian 20-22 21-10 21-13 in an hour and nine minute duel. The Korean went down 20-22 in a see­saw­ing first game be­fore re­gain­ing his nerve to level the match af­ter clinch­ing the sec­ond game 21-10.

Son’s trade­mark at­tri­tional style of play ap­peared to wear down his younger op­po­nent, with the top seed tak­ing the third game to ad­vance to his third Su­per­series semi­fi­nal of the year.

—TWIT­TER/@BAI_MEDIA

PV Sindhu will face China’s He Bingjiao in the semi­fi­nals

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