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Sindhu set to make amends against Okuhara

Hyderabad: It will be a repeat clash of the World Championship as PV Sindhu set up a date with Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the final of the Korean Open Super Series badminton tournament when she out-duelled He Bingjiao of China 21-16, 17-21, 21-16 in a tight semifinal match in Seoul on Saturday. Okuhara, seeded eighth in the tournament, outgunned her teammate and second seed Akane Yamaguchi 21-17, 21-18 in the first semifinal.

The Indian, who had a 3-5 record against the left-handed Bingjiao, began very brightly as she outpaced the error-prone Bingjiao. Coach Amrish Shinde, who has accompanied the Indian team along with Siddharth Jain to Seoul, said Sindhu played a very aggressive game.

“The Chinese girl was not able to judge Sindhu’s smashes,’’ he said.

Taking a 9-1 lead, Sindhu controlled the first game and dictated the pace. She breezed through in 16 minutes.

The 21-year-old Sindhu had a good 7-3 lead in the second game. But hereabouts came Bingjiao’s fightback. She began to get the right length and found her rhythm.

The drift too troubled Sindhu. “She became little hesitant while playing the strokes because of the drift. Seizing the opportunity, the Chinese girl had the half-smashes going in her favour and she played some wristy strokes near the net. This put Sindhu in a problem, said Shinde.

With sharp angled shots, Bingjiao’s game flourished. She wrested the initiative from Sindhu and pocketed the second game in 22 minutes.

Sindhu was shaken but recovered splendidly in the deciding third game. “She began to play more aggressively from the start and controlled the proceedings. The momentum was back in her favour,’’ said Shinde.

Sindhu also kept the Chinese at bay with intelligent game and after change of ends, the Indian got her confidence back. Bingjiao fumbled as some of her shots went either wide or long.

Sindhu closed the match with a lucky net chord to set up another clash with Okuhara in Sunday’s final.

All eyes will be on the riveting clash between Sindhu and Okuhara, who has won seven times and lost four times against the Indian. Sindhu will certainly want to make it different this time around. She would like to like to keep behind those memories of that epic final in Glasgow. That is history and the Hyderabad shuttler would like to make amends at the Korean Open. Another humdinger is on the cards. “We are all nervous and excited,’’ said coach Shinde.

Incidentally, this will be Sindhu’s fifth appearance in a Super Series final. She won the Indian and China Open while finished runners-up in Denmark and Hong Kong Open.

The post Sindhu set to make amends against Okuhara appeared first on Telangana Today.

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