Hong Kong: World No. 9 P.V Sindhu of India and World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain are on course for a rematch of the Olympic final at the ongoing Hong Kong Open after both advanced to the semi-finals respectively on Friday.
P.V Sindhu experienced her toughest match in the tournament on Friday as she had to dig deep to fight back from 9-15 deficit in the third set to topple Liang Xiaoyu of Singapore 21-17, 21-23, 21-18.
After both Sindhu and Liang were even at one set apiece, Sindhu came out all-firing early in the decider as she opened to a 4-1 lead. However, Liang clawed back and quickly raced away to a six-point lead at 15-9. Nevertheless, the Indian shuttler staged a remarkable comeback to narrow the gap to 14-15 and 18-18. Sindhu then held her nerve brilliantly to close out the match by winning the decider 21-18.
On the contrary, another Indian ace former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal could not overcome Hong Kong shuttler Cheung Ngan Yi, losing 8-21, 21-18, 19-21 in 71 minutes. Sindhu will play Cheung for a place in the final on Saturday.
Meanwhile, another women’s quarter-final match that was played on Friday between No. 1 seed Carolina Marin of Spain and No. 6 seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan was somewhat easier than expected. The Spanish world number one frequently screamed to celebrate scoring a point while Yamaguchi was seemed too quiet compared to Marin.
The match umpire eventually had to warn Marin to not look into the eyes of her opponent while Marin was screaming to her victory with 21-7, 21-18.
“This is who I am and this is my character,” the Spaniard told reporter after the match, while Yamaguchi played down the significance of the screaming by referring to that behavior as “Carolina’s style”.
Marin is set to play No. 4 seed Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-finals.