Nozomi Okuhara breezes past P.V. Sindhu enter Japan Open last 8

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Nozomi Okuhara vs P.V. Sindhu is becoming one of the greatest Badminton rivalries in women's singles. (photo: AP)
Nozomi Okuhara vs P.V. Sindhu is becoming one of the greatest Badminton rivalries in women's singles. (photo: AP)

Tokyo: Unseeded Nozomi Okuhara showcased her brilliance once more as the never gets tired Japanese player swept past her rival in the World Championships and Korea Open finals, the No. 4 seed P.V Sindhu of India 21-18, 21-8 in 48 minutes in the Japan Open women’s singles second round on Thursday.

“There’s not much gap between Sindhu and I, and I am not sure if I could win the next time we play each other,” said Okuhara.

“I received huge support from the audience, it was possible that Sindhu was negatively affected by the atmosphere in the stadium,” added Okuhara.

These two players have meet four times in 2017, in which Okuhara won in the 2017 World Championships final and Japan Open second round, while Sindhu defeated the 151cm Okuhara in Singapore Open first round and Korea Open final.

On the other hand, the Chief Coach of Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Vimal Kumar said Sindhu’s defeat was probably due to her exhaustion from playing the lengthy final match against Okuhara in the Korea Open last Sunday.

“It’s not easy for the Indian women’s players to play against the Japanese players in here, especially the shuttlecocks used in this tournament are slow, and made it very unconformable for players who like to smash,” said Kumar.

“When every of Sindhu’s smashes was returned, she has to play the rally game, and Sindhu was not ready for another energy-sapping match,” added Kumar.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s hopes of having representatives in the last eight in women’s singles and mixed doubles event were ended after Soniia Cheah went down 14-21, 14-21 to No. 8 seed Zhang Beiwen of USA, while Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai couldn’t wrap up the match when they were able to force a deuce in the decider, going down 16-21, 25-23, 20-22 Takuro Hoki-Sayaka Hirota of Japan.

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