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Rediff.com  » Sports » Sindhu rallies to reach China Open final

Sindhu rallies to reach China Open final

November 19, 2016 19:40 IST

PV Sindhu

IMAGE: PV Sindhu. Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu is just one step away from clinching her maiden Super Series Premier title having reached the final of the China Open after registering a come-from-behind win over Korea Sung Ji Hyun at the $700,000 tournament in Fuzhou, China, on Saturday.

Seventh seed Sindhu edged out Ji Hyun, seeded sixth, 11-21, 23-21, 21-19 in a thrilling contest that lasted an hour and 24 minutes. This was Sindhu's sixth win over Ji Hyun in nine encounters.

The two-time bronze medallist at the World Championships, Sindhu will lock horns with local favourite Sun Yu, seeded eighth, in the summit clash on Sunday.

Sindhu was shocked in the opening game as she just couldn't match up to the Korean, who dominated the game all throughout after opening a 5-1 lead early on.

Ji Hyun kept extending her lead and eventually pocketed the game comfortably.

A jolted Sindhu then came up with a much improved performance in the second game as she locked herself in a battle of supremacy with Ji Hyun, moving neck-and-neck till 7-7. The Korean changed gears and entered the break with a 11-7 lead.

After the breather, Sindhu erased the deficit with four points but Ji Hyun again marched ahead and grabbed three match points at 20-17. Sindhu saved two match points with some gritty strokes, including an angled drop shot before drawing level. She reached a game point but wasted it before she sealed a long rally with a powerful smash to roar back into the match.

In the decider, Sindhu lagged behind again early on but fought back from 3-7 down to take a slender 10-9 lead but Ji Hyun won a thrilling rally to go into the break with a lead. Ji Hyun edged ahead 12-10 after Sindhu's backhand drop went out but the Indian kept breathing down her neck.

A superb forehand from Sindhu and an error from Ji Hyun helped the Indian grab two match points at 20-18. Sindhu eventually sealed it with a superb cross court smash.

The Hyderabadi had reached her maiden Super Series final at the Denmark Open last year but she lost in straight games to 2012 Olympic champion China's Li Xuerui.

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