Sindhu remains a notch higher

Sindhu remains a notch higher

Shuttler beats Tai Tsu of Taipei to enter quarters

Sindhu remains a notch higher

P V Sindhu struck all the right notes as she overcame a tricky test from Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tsu Ying to enter the quarterfinals of the Olympic Games badminton on Monday.

Focused all the way through, Sindhu kept Ying on a tight leash for most part. The lone Indian in the women’s singles after Saina Nehwal’s exit, the Hyderabadi chalked up a 21-13, 21-15 win, giving herself a big dose of confidence.

Ying had troubled the 21-year-old Indian in the past, having won four of their previous six encounters, including their last meeting at the Asian Championships in April. Clever and crafty, she scores with her touch play and deception.

Sindhu, aware of her rival’s strengths, was impressive in the way she tackled them. Keeping Ying pegged to the backcourt, she used her placements and smashes to good effect to make all the early running. Her excellent reach and reflexes also came to her aide as Ying unleashed her trademark dropshots from back of the court. The Indian read them well and when the best of her shots came back to her, a frustrated Ying lapsed into errors to bow out in the 42-minute contest.

“I am very happy with this win. I was alert all the time and that was the plan,” said Sindhu, who was lustily cheered on by the fans at the Riocentro Pavilion. “She is a very tricky player and a dangerous opponent, she played well but overall I was better. I was ready for each and every point, this is a great result for me,” added the Hyderabadi.

Sindhu’s quarterfinal opponent will be China’s world number two Wang Yihan, the London 2012 silver medallist having received a bye in the knockout first round.

“It will be a tough match,” admitted Sindhu, who trails 2-4 in career meetings with the former world number one.  Their last match, at the Denmark Open in October last year, had gone in the Indian’s favour. Sindhu had prevailed 21-18, 21-19 in a close contest. “She is a top player, I will try to give my best, play my game,” said Sindhu.

Aware of the need to make a strong start, Sindhu wrested control of the match quickly. The fact that Ying never led in either of the two games showed the Indian’s dominance.  After early skirmishes, Sindhu pulled away from 15-13 to win six points in a row to take the first game.

In the second too, she didn’t give Ying any chances, building a 15-7 lead quickly. Ying did attempt to claw her way back, but Sindhu was in no mood to allow any lapses to come into her play on the day. She set up match point when Ying smashed into the net and the already beaten Taipei girl then hit the bird long as Sindhu celebrated. Kidambi Srikanth is the other Indian left in badminton and he plays China’s Lin Dan in the quarterfinals on Wednesday.

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