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India Open: PV Sindhu beats Saina Nehwal in straight sets

Utkarsh Bhatla

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal

In what was touted as a blockbuster encounter, PV Sindhu played some remarkable badminton to oust Saina Nehwal in straight sets and once again stamp her authority as India’s number one woman shuttler. When the draws were dished out a potential quarter final match up between these two Indian stalwarts was always on the cards, and with the kind of badminton these two were playing, it was always going to be a tantalising encounter.

Both these players played some really attacking badminton all through, but Sindhu played the important moments better and just seem to have that killer instinct to finish off Saina’s challenge in straight sets, 21-16, 22-20.

It was an inspired performance from Saina, who is still probably recovering from that horrific knee injury and it would give her great confidence that she could take the game to the in form and on the rise PV Sindhu.

The first game was well balanced till the half way mark, but as it got to the business end of the set, Sindhu just upped her game a little and was able to power through 21-16, thanks to some delicate drop shots.

The second set was a far more gripping affair, with Saina leading all through and Sindhu being forced to play catch up badminton, but with Saina needing just two points to force a 3rd set(she lead 19-16). But again when she needed to, Sindhu found that extra gear to win those important points and close out the match in two straight sets. Saina faltered in the end, making errors and handing the set on a plate to Sindhu(she committed a service error when leading 20-19)

This is Sindhu’s second straight win over Saina, and it seems that she has fairly established herself as India’s top woman paddler. Sindhu will now take on second seed Sung Ji Hyun of Korea while Spaniard Carolina Marin will run into fourth seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the semifinals.

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