Macau: Two-time Macau Open defending champion P.V Sindhu’s enduring brilliance and her sheer hatred of losing allowed her to withstand a stunning fightback by Akane Yamaguchi and remained undefeated at the Macau Open on Saturday.
World No. 12 Sindhu got off to an excellent start in the first set as she took the game 21-8 in approximately 14 minutes.
But the No. 2 seed Yamaguchi went neck-and-neck with the Indian and tied the score at 15-15 before reeling 6 straight points by winning the second set 21-15 and forced a decider.
Sindhu started at speed and re-established her dominance to go up 14-5 before Yamaguchi clawed back to close in with 14-17 in the third set. Sindhu was clearly feeling the heat and had to raise her tempo to finally see off Yamaguchi 21-16 in the women’s singles semi-finals that lasted an hour and three minutes.
In the final of the Macau Open, P.V. Sindhu will face another Japanese Minatsu Mitani, who moved past China’s He Bingjiao 17-21, 21-12, 21-12 in 53 minutes in the second semi-final.
World No.18 Minatsu defeated Sindhu in the Japan Open in September in their only encounter so far.
In men’s singles, Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat being a little slower and more sluggish in his opening set, lost to 20-year-old Jeon Hyuk-jin of Korea 15-21. Goh showed signs of life in the second set, but after the score was tied at 7-7, the Korean had too much for Goh Soon Huat to cope with with the Malaysian bowed out of the tournament by going down 15-21 in the second set.
No. 16 seed Ihsan Maulana Mustofa’s impressive run at Macau Open was halted by No. 2 seed Tian Houwei of China, losing to the Chinese shuttler 18-21, 17-21. Tian Houwei will play Jeon Hyuk-jin for the men’s crown on Sunday.
Meanwhile, men’s doubles No. 2 seeds Ko Sung Hyun/Shin Baek Cheol of Korea got away with a close call in the semi-finals on Saturday, beating No. 4 seeds Vladimir Ivanov/Ivan Sozonov of Russia 19-21, 21-19, 22-20 to set up a clash with Indonesian pair Berry Angriawan/Ryan Agung Saputra in the final.