GUANGZHOU (China): Rising shuttler PV Sindhu on Friday created history by becoming the first Indian woman singles player to ensure a medal at the World Badminton Championships after scoring an upset win over local favourite Shixian Wang of China to enter the semifinals.
Playing in her maiden World Championships, Sindhu, seeded 10th, had an easy outing against the World No. 8 and seventh seeded Wang. The Indian took just 55 minutes to get the better of her fancied Chinese opponent 21-18, 21-17.
World No. 12, Sindhu will take on the winner of the match between Carolina Marin and Ratchanok Intanon in the last four round.
Before Sindhu, Prakash Padukone won a medal in the World Championships way back in 1983 when he bagged a bronze in the men singles event in Copenhagen, while the women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa bagged another bronze for India in the last edition of the tournament at London in 2011.
Against Wang on Friday, Sindhu relied on her smashes, besides hitting as many as 19 clear winners.
The 18-year-old Indian started to dominate from the word go. After initially being tied at 3-3, the Hyderabadi surged ahead to open a slight 6-3 lead.
Determined not to lose the advantage, Sindhu kept on increasing the gap to make it 13-8.
Wang, however, managed to bag four points on the trot to reduce the margin to 12-13. But Sindhu regained her composure pretty quickly to pocket three consecutive points to once again move ahead.
Wang gave Sindhu scare one more time by making it 18-19 before the Indian eventually wrapped it up 21-18.
In the second game also, Sindhu straight-away took a 6-2 lead before four straight points from Wang served as a warning bell to the Indian.
Tied at 6-6, Sindhu roared back with three consecutive points to move ahead once again and thereafter she always maintained a lead of at least a point or two.
Comfortably placed at 20-16, Sindhu wasted just one match point before she capped it off in style to seal the game 21-17.
Sindhu is having a dream run at the tournament as she had stunned defending champion Yihan Wang of China in the pre-quarterfinals.