Superseries Finals: Sindhu conquers Carolina to enter semis

Olympic 2016 silver medallist shuttler P.V. Sindhu vanquished her Rio tormentor Carolina Marin of Spain in Group B to sail into the semi-finals of the BWF Superseries Finals here on Friday. World No.10 Sindhu moved past World No.2 and reigning world champion Carolina 21-17, 21-13 in 46 minutes to enter the last four stage of the season-ending tournament. The 22-year-old Indian, who had beaten Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the opener before losing to Sun Yu of China, needed the win over Carolina to progress to the semi-finals.

The 23-year-old Spanish ferocious talent had already lost two consecutive matches and was already ruled out from the race to the semi-finals. For her it was a matter of playing for her pride and for Sindhu, it was more than a matter of moving past an opponent who had a 5-3 head-to-head advantage coming into the contest. And she looked determined to avenge her losses right from the start. Even though the Spaniard took a 7-3 lead, the Indian fought back, not only equalising but also taking an 8-7 lead with the help of five consecutive points. Carolina again stood at a two-point lead at 10-8 but soon Sindhu equalised at 11-point mark. After the mid- game break, Sindhu looked much better playing an attacking game and not allowing space to Carolina. Riding on a five-point stretch which helped her going to 16-11, Sindhu never allowed Carolina to catch up with her. And three points on the trot helped her gain a six-point advantage at 19-13 and afterwards it was a formality.

In the second game, Sindhu started off strongly and raced away to a 9-5 lead which soon became 13-6. The huge lead allowed her to control the game and thereon, she kept on rattling points. Carolina ended up earning only 13 points till the end, as the Indian, with her childhood and national head coach Pullela Gopichand urging her on, overcame a big barrier. In the Group A, Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei and Sung ji-Hyun of South Korea advanced to the knock-outs. In the men's singles category, Chinese Tian Houwei and Denmark's Jan 'O' Jorgensen advanced from Group A, while Wan Ho Son of South Korea and Viktor Axelsen of Denmark qualified from Group B. Malaysian icon Lee Chong Wei was eliminated after winning only one match.

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