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Korean Open: PV Sindhu beats He Bingjiao in semis, faces Nozomi Okuhara in final


Korean Open: PV Sindhu beats He Bingjiao in semis, faces Nozomi Okuhara in final
PV Sindhu will now face Nozomi Okuhara, who defeated Sindhu, in the BWF World Badminton Championship final last month, in the Korean Open Super Series final. (Photo: AP)

Seoul: Indian shuttler PV Sindhu entered the final of Korean Open Super Series after a hard-fought 21-10,17-21, 21-16  victory over China’s He Bingjiao here on Saturday.

The eighth-seeded Indian will now face Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, who defeated Sindhu, in the BWF World Badminton Championship final last month.

Okuhara defeated  Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-18 in the semifinal clash.

Sindhu entered the semifinal after defeating Minatsu Mitani of Japan 21-19, 16-21, 21-10 in the quarterfinals on Friday. On the other hand, He Bingjiao of China had beaten South Korean third seed Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 16-21, 21-19 in her quarterfinal encounter.

Before the match, Sindhu’s head-to-head record against Bingjiao was 3-5 , but the Indian started brightly and took control of the game from the beginning against her Chinese opponent. Bingjiao played a series of bad shots helping Sindhu to claim the first game 21-10.

The second game saw Sindhu take 3-point cushion over Bingjiao. The Indian led 11-6 at the mid-game break, but despite her Chinese struggling to find her feet in the match, she fought back valiantly to level the score at 15-15 and finally take the second game 21-17 after a slip-up from Sindhu.

The third and the deciding game was a tightly contested affair between the two. Sindhu took a 5-3 lead, while her opponent continued to claw her way back into the game by keeping the deficit to just one point. At the break Sindhu lead Bingjiao 11-9.  After the interval, Sindhu extended her lead over Bingjiao to three points.

The Indian kept the pressure on her opponent and did not allow her to make a comeback like she did in the second game and in the end, she won the game set and match 21-16 to enter the final.

The Hyderabadi shuttler Sindhu will once again face-off against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the final on Sunday.

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