P V Sindhu reaches Hong Kong Open Finals For Second Straight Year

by Sports | 26-11-2017 | 832 views

Free flowing badminton was to the fore agains as PV Sindhu dished out another dominant performance to drub Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 21-17,21-17 in the semi –finals of the Hong Kong Open Super Series on Saturday. Sindhu’s victory ensured a repart of last year’s final where the Indian lost to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The world No.1 defeated Ji Hyun Sung of the South Korea 21-9, 18-21,21-7 in the other last four clash.

Tai, who enjoys a 7-3 win-loss record against Sindhu, won the last year's final in straight games and defeated Sindhu at All England and Australian Open tournaments this year.
However, the title contest between the top two seeds on Sunday is likely to be evenly-poised as Sindhu is a much improved player now while Tai had slowed down due to injuries.Satisfied with the performance of his ward, coach Pullela Gopichand said that Sindhu played a smart game on Saturday. "It's a good match, Sindhu is smart enough to mix her pace and defence. She is moving quite well and is in good shape today," said Gopichand, adding that Sindhu should implement a perfect strategy against Tai in the final."It will be a tough match but if Sindhu sticks to the strategy she should be able to win," he added.

Despite playing without rest in the last one and half month, Sindhu looked fresh during the semi-final against Ratchanok. Sindhu came up with a new strategy against the former world champion. Ratchanok is known for hitting powerful drives, deceptive smashes and has the knack of coming back from difficult stages.
Aware of this Sindhu took an early 9-3 lead in the first game. Even as Ratchanok is struggling to adjust to the movement of the shuttle on the court, Sindhu secured a four-point lead (11-7) by the break. Retrieving almost everything from her side, Sindhu commanded the front court with her deceptive placements. Failing to read the flight of the shuttle, Ratchanok hit as many as 10 birds outside the lines giving easy points for Sindhu. Despite trailing 13-20, Ratchanok did not give up and saved four game points before committing an error at the net.

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