RIO DE JANEIRO: Two-time World Championship bronze medallist PV Sindhu stands just a win away from assuring India an elusive medal after she stunned London Games silver medallist Wang Yihan of China to enter the women’s singles semifinals at the Rio Olympics here on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old Indian, who came into the match with a 2-4 head-to-head record, dished out a compact game to outmanoeuvre the more experienced Wang 22-20, 21-19 in a gruelling battle lasting 54 minutes.
With the memorable win, Sindhu became the second Indian badminton player to reach an Olympic semifinal after Saina Nehwal achieved the feat four years ago.
It was a battle of nerves as the duo engaged in fast-paced rallies with each trying to close out the points. Some fierce stroke play was on display with the one having better control prevailing over the other.
In the opening game which lasted 29 minutes, Wang raced to a 3-0 lead after dictating the pace of the rallies before Sindhu grabbed a couple of points. The Indian made it 5-5 after Wang hit the net. Sindhu showed some good judgement and accumulated points riding on her opponents’ unforced errors but Wang still entered the break with a 11-8 lead.