Teen sensation P.V. Sindhu assured herself of a bronze medal by reaching the semifinals of the prestigious Asian Badminton Championship with a thrilling three-game win in the women’s singles event here on Friday.
World No. 10 Sindhu took close to an hour to outwit Ongbumrungpan Busanan 14-21, 21-13, 21-10, to stretch her head-to-head record against the Thai girl to 3-0, at the Gimcheon Indoor Stadium.
The 18-year-old, who had won bronze at the World Championship last year, will next look to avenge her India Super Series loss to China’s Shixian Wang, the two-time reigning All England champion.
In the men’s singles, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt played his heart out before losing 24-22, 9-21, 13-21, to Liu Kai of China in a match that lasted an hour.
Sindhu faltered with her smashes in the first game and made a few errors as Busanan took the game away to put the Indian on the back foot, before she bounced back brilliantly in the second.
Down 8-10 in the second, Sindhu produced cross court smashes and played well at the nets too, even as Busanan made a lot of errors.
In the third, Sindhu dominated right from start and comfortably closed out the match.
“Overall, it was a good match, Sindhu played very well apart from the first game. From the second onwards, she was up and her smashes also improved and she dominated the third game,” national coach P. Gopichand said.
Sindhu’s father Ramana was confident that Sindhu would be able to avenge her loss to Shixian when they meet on Saturday. “I am sure she will play well tomorrow (Saturday) and beat Shixian. She is world number two but I think Sindhu knows what she has to do,” he said.
The results: Men: R.M.V. Gurusaidutt lost to Liu Kai (CHN) 24-22, 9-21, 13-21.
Women: P.V. Sindhu bt Ongbumrungpan Busanan (THA) 14-21, 21-13, 21-10.