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3-min read

PV Sindhu Overcomes Tai Tzu Ying to Reach World Badminton Championships Semi-finals

BWF World Championships: PV Sindhu beat Tai Tzu Ying 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 to reach the semi-finals.

News18 Sports

Updated:August 23, 2019, 7:20 PM IST
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PV Sindhu Overcomes Tai Tzu Ying to Reach World Badminton Championships Semi-finals
PV Sindhu beat Tai Tzu Ying for the second straight time. (Photo Credit: @bwfmedia)
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PV Sindhu trumped former world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the quarter-final of World Badminton Championships in Basel, Switzerland on Friday to the semi-final of the tournament for the third straight year.

The world number 5 Indian beat her Taiwanese opponent, who is ranked two in the world, 12-21, 23-21, 21-19 in an hour and 11 minutes to keep her hopes of a gold medal alive.

The two-time silver medallist is looking to reach her third straight World Championships final and managed to solve the massive Tai Tzu puzzle.

Tai Tzu started the game on the front foot, attacking Sindhu's backhand, forcing mistakes from the Indian as she raced to take the first game quite easily.

Sindhu lacked creativity and the surprise element in her game as the Taiwanese was able to judge her stroke quite easily, which her execute her own game plan to perfection.

With Tai Tzu on the front foot, Sindhu never stood a chance in the first game as the world No.2 displayed great accuracy and bullied the Indian. However, the story altered a bit in the second game.

Even though Tai Tzu started the second game on the front foot, Sindhu bounced back with a much better display of nerves, committing fewer faults and drawing Tai Tzu in longer rallies.

Sindhu started targetting Tai Tzu's deep forehand and showed more patience in her finishing.

From going into the break with an 11-9 lead, Sindhu was in the lead at almost all junctures of the game and earned three game points before Tai Tzu saved them all to make it 21-21.

At that stage, Sindhu execute a beautiful drop shot to earn her fourth game point and then played a flat stroke wide on Tai Tzu's forehand to force the decider.

Tai Tzu found her rhythm and accuracy in the third game once again while a few errors on Sindhu's part gifted the lead to the Taiwanese. However, the Indian still stuck to her game plan of attempting to pin Tai Tzu to her back court to earn points.

Tai Tzu, however, went to the break with an 11-9 lead. After the mid-game interval, both the players upped the pace and quality of their rallies as they launched attacks after attacks at each other.

After trailing for long, Sindhu equalised at 14-14 with a body smash.

At 15-15, Tai Tzu executed two exquisite strokes to take a 17-15 lead before Sindhu smashed her way to 17-17.

Sindhu then took a 19-17 lead only for Tai Tzu to turn on her magic once more to equalise at 19-19.

Sindhu then struck a brilliant smash on Tai Tzu's forehand to earn the match point and then the Taiwanese sent the shuttle wide as Sindhu lay on the court in celebration.

As the shuttle went wide, Pullela Gopichand and South Korean coach Kim Ji Hyun threw their hands up in the air to celebration, jubilation evident on their faces.

With the win, the head-to-head record between Sindhu and Tai Tzu now stands at 10-5 in the favour of the Taiwanese.

These players are arguably the best current women's singles players never to have won badminton's two biggest titles, although there are differences in their track records.

While Sindhu lost in the final of the 2016 Rio Olympics and was runner-up at the 2017 and 2018 World Championships, Tai has never reached the semifinals of those two events.

However, the Taiwanese clearly has been the more consistent player overall in the past three years and owns a 10-4 edge in her head-to-head battles against Sindhu.

Sindhu defeated Tai in the round of 16 of the 2016 Olympics in straight games, while the Taiwanese turned the tables by defeating her Indian opponent in the Asian Games final last year.

(With IANS inputs)

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