Hong Kong series: PV Sindhu beats former world champ Ratchanok Intanon to enter final

Updated: Nov 26, 2017, 10:51 IST | PTI | Kowloon

India's star shuttler beats former World Champion Intanon to enter final

Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu produced a comfortable straight-game win over 2013 World Champion Ratchanok Intanon at the Hong Kong Super Series to seal a second successive final spot here on Saturday. Last year's finalist, Sindhu moved well and seemed always ready for the shuttle. She dominated the front court, defended well and maintained her attack to outclass the world No. 6 Thai 21-17, 21-17 in a 43-minute women's singles match.

India's PV Sindhu returns to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon during their semi-final match in Hong Kong on Saturday. Pic/AFP
India's PV Sindhu returns to Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon during their semi-final match in Hong Kong on Saturday. Pic/AFP

It was their sixth meeting and Sindhu was lagging 1-4 in the head-to-head count. In the opening game, Sindhu jumped to a 6-2 lead early on and continued her march ahead, despite some good-looking strokes from the Thai player. A cross court smash from the Indian left her opponent stranded and allowed Sindhu to grab a 11-7 lead after seven minutes of play. The Thai player went long a few times as Sindhu lead 17-9.

Intanon produced a superb cross court dribble to break the rhythm but she again found the net. The Thai constructed another post with an angled shot to draw Sindhu near the court and then produced a winner on her backhand. But the Indian once again came up with a quick straight return from the front court to move to game point. In the second game, Intanon had a 3-1 lead before Sindhu drew parity. An onrushing smash helped Sindhu take a 5-4 lead.

Ratchanok Intanon
Ratchanok Intanon

However, two unforced errors again gave the lead back to Intanon. The Thai shuttle then sent a backhand return wide and it was 6-6. Intanon continued to commit errors, finding it difficult to get the bird away. Sindhu produced another instinctive reactionary stroke to put the shuttle across to move to 10-6 lead with Intanon again
going wide. Sindhu, a silver medallist at World Championship, will next face top seed and World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying.

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