Singapore: Indian shuttle PV Sindhu stormed into the Singapore Open title fight with an impressive victory over lower-ranked Japanese Saena Kawakami in the women’s singles semifinals here on Saturday.
Sindhu, a double Olympic medalist, who had taken two Super 300 titles at Syed Modi International and Swiss Open this year, triumphed 21-15 21-7 in a 32-minute semifinal.
She is now one win away from her first Super 500 title of the 2022 season.
Sindhu entered the game with a 2-0 head-to-head record after playing her last at the 2018 China Open.
The former world champion looked in full command against the world’s number 38 Kawakami, who just missed the shuttle and was bombarded with a slew of errors during the one-sided match.
Sindhu called for her whipping early on, but the drift in the room made decision making difficult and sometimes lacked precision, but the power in her stroke play helped the Indian to a healthy three-point lead at the break.
However, the 24-year-old Japanese started to use the shuttle from difficult positions to draw parity. The match came alive with both fighting for every point.
Sindhu also won two video references, penalized a weak high lift and also made good calls at baseline to go to 18-14. A powerful smash and then two unforced errors from Kawakami helped Sindhu finish the opening match comfortably.
Kawakami’s struggle continued into the second game when she failed to control the shuttle and allowed an early 0-5 lead to her alleged rival.
Sindhu just had to keep attacking her rival in the rallies and patiently waited for mistakes from the Japanese.
A frustrated Kawakami could just smile wryly as Sindhu first took an 11-4 lead in the middle of the game, then zoomed to 17-5 in an instant.
The Japanese had no response to Sindhu’s forehand offensive returns and backhand flicks as the Indian advanced to 19-6.
Sindhu sent one long, but then unleashed a whiplash from the baseline that her opponent could only send to the net. When Kawakami sent the shuttle back out, Sindhu pumped his fist to announce her entry into the final.
Also read: Presidential Poll: NDA Nominee Droupadi Murmu Gets Over 60% Vote