Saina, Sindhu put India 2-0 ahead against Japan in Uber semis
New Delhi: Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu came up with contrasting victories in the first two singles to put the Indian women’s team 2-0 ahead of Japan in their maiden semifinal of Uber Cup Badminton tournament here today.
Olympic bronze medallist Saina gave India a positive start when she produced a dominating performance to get across world number 12 Minatsu Mitani in 41 minute match.
World championship bronze winner, Sindhu then displayed her brilliance with yet another edge-of-the seat victory over world No 13 Sayaka Takahashi 19-21 21-18 26-24 in an energy-sapping one hour and 12 minutes match at the Siri Fort stadium.
Saina dominated the proceedings right from the start and lead 11-6 at the interval. things didn’t change much after the break as Saina kept engaging her rival in rallies and waited for Mitani to commit mistakes to eventually pocket the game with a smart dribble at the net.
In the second game, Mitani managed to open up a small 6-3 lead but Saina soon surged ahead with a couple of smashes to lead 9-8 and had her nose ahead at the break at 11-8.
Saina came up with a series of sharp cross court smashes to extend the lead and finally sealed the issue rather comfortably when Mitani hit wide.
After Saina’s victory, a lot was expected from Sindhu and the teen sensational delivered once again in style.
In a battle of nerves, both the shuttlers struggled to control the shuttle and committed many unforced errors. While Sayaka lost more than a dozen points at the nets, Sindhu erred in her judgement of the shuttle and gave away points when she could not reach the shuttle at the forecourt. However, in the end it was Sindhu who had the last laugh.
In the first game, world No 13 Sayaka opened up a 9-6 lead early on but Sindhu repaired the deficit and went into the interval with a slender 11-10 lead. However, Sayaka clawed back with a mid-court smash at 16-16 and wrested back the lead when Sindhu hit long. In the end, Sindhu hit long and found the net to hand over the game to Sayaka.