Badminton Asia C’ships: Sindhu reaches semis with win over He Bing Jiao

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Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu assured herself of at least a bronze medal at the 2022 Badminton Asia Championships after reaching the semi-final with a win over China’s He Bing Jiao in the women’s singles quarter-finals, here on Friday.

Sindhu, a former world champion, defeated the two-time world championship bronze medallist Jiao 21-9, 13-21, 21-19 to reach the semi-finals at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex.

The Indian settled quickly into the match and raced to an 11-2 lead at the first break in the opening game. Jiao, on the other hand, made a series of unforced errors as Sindhu wrapped up the first game convincingly. The second game saw the world No 9 He Bing Jiao tighten her defence and come back strongly after the scores were tied at 10-all. The Chinese shuttler won 11 of the next 14 points to stretch the match into the decider.

The two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu used her experience well and took six straight points early in the third game. However, PV Sindhu conceded five points on the trot before confusion over scores halted the game.

Jiao continued to mount attacks after the short break and even struck three straight points despite trailing 20-16. Sindhu, however, kept her composure to take advantage of an early lead and book a spot in the semi-finals.

World No. 7 Sindhu came into the match trailing 7-9 in head-to-head encounters but it was her third straight win over her Chinese rival. The last time the duo played each other was at the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match which Sindhu won in straight games.

The 26-year-old Sindhu will now face the winner of the match between world No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan and world No. 10 Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand for a place in Sunday’s final.

Later in the day, India’s top men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, seeded third, will take on fifth-seeded Aaron Chia and Massoh Wooi Yik of Malaysia in the quarter-finals.

Top Indian badminton players Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen were knocked out in the earlier rounds.

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