Indian shuttler PV Sindhu defeated sixth-seeded He Bingjiao, of China, 21-10, 17-21, 21-16 in a hard-fought three-set thrilling encounter to book her place in the Korea Open Superseries’ final.
In a game that lasted an hour and six minutes, Sindhu cruised past her Chinese opponent in the first set with ease, but was given a run for her money in the second set. The ultimate set, finally, was always expected to be the closed affair and it duly delivered what was promised. Sindhu, after winning the first, started the second game in ultimate fashion and saw herself leading with an impressive 7-point margin (8-1) at one point. But He Bingjiao was never the one deny and she soon proved her worth by chasing down the deficit to just two points (12-10).
Soon after, the chink was reduced to just one point (16-15) and in no time, further, the Chinese sailed into a 17-20 lead and booked the second set in her bag.
The final set was of similar ilk whatsoever. Sindhu saw herself leading 11-6 but allowed her opponent to chase down the deficit to 11-9. The Hyderabad-born, however, took a flight and only allowed Bingjiao to bag to seven more points, winning the set by 21-16.
Sindhu will now face her old nemesis Nozomi Okuhara in the final. It is Okuhara against whom Sindhu lost her World Badminton Championship back in August at Glasgow. It’s not the only downside for Sindhu against the Japanese though. The 22-year-old will be entering the round with a 3-4 head to head record against Okuhara. These two first met in the Asia Youth U-19 Championship where Sindhu emerged victorious. The next three matches, however, were the closest of encounters, but Okuhara had the last laugh in all of them. Next up was Rio Olympics and Singapore Open in 2016 and 2017 respectively and Sindhu cruised past Okuhara in absolute style.
The duo recently met in the World Badminton Championship’s final and in a jaw-dropping encounter, Okuhara clinched away the title, winning the match 19-21, 22-20, 20-22. Furthermore, should the Hyderabad-born manages to beat the Japanese in Seoul, she will become the first ever Indian to win in Korea.