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Tokyo 2020: PV Sindhu advances to semi-finals, to face world number one Tai Tzu Ying

PV Sindhu advances to semi-finals, and will face Tai Tzu Ying next. Chen Yufei will play teammate He Bing Jiao in the women's singles semi-final.

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An interesting stat of the quarterfinals of the women’s singles event was that all the top 8 seeds made it to the last 8 stage. Now that calls for spectacular clashes doesn’t it.

Living up to the expectations, The matches were truly spectacular, a treat for the viewers.

He bIng Jiao Tokyo
Image Source: Instagram | He Bing Jiao

The day started off with Nozomi Okuhara, seeded number 3 playing against He Bing Jiao of China, seeded 8th. Okuhara seemed comfortable in the first set taking the game 21-13 quite comfortably. The tides turned in the second as He Bing found her rhythm, With spectacular, sharp forehand crosscourt drop shots she picked up quite a few points, leaving Okuhara baffled. The left-handed Chinese had her revenge 21-13. The third game too was dominated by Jiao as she registered a 21-14 win. The Japanese went out of steam and had no answers to the shots played by He.

Chen Yufei Tokyo
Image Source: Instagram | Chen Yufei

Chen Yufei contested a tough encounter against the 19-year-old Korean prodigy An Se Young. Despite an injury, the youngster put up a great fight against the Chinese, retrieving shots and playing almost an hour-long game which ended in straight sets 21-18, 21-19.

PV Sindhu Tokyo quarterfinals
Image Source: Facebook | PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu was in fiery form taking down the calm and composed Japanese Akane Yamaguchi seeded number 4. Akane was no match to Sindhu’s speed and aggression in the first game. Sindhu looked in great form with powerful smashes, great court coverage and reach and minimal unforced errors.

The second game started off with great momentum. But post the mid-game break, a couple of errors from her, combined with an increase of aggression from Yamaguchi put Sindhu under pressure. She made errors and The Japanese went into the lead. However, the lanky Indian found her calm and rhythm and crawled back into the game, winning the match 21-13, 22-20.

Tai Tzu Ying Tokyo
Image Source: Facebook | Tai Tzu Ying

In what can be called the best match of the day, World number one Tai Tzu Ying beat a resolute Ratchnok Intanon in three nail-biting games. Ratchnok was well into the game in the first set as she completely outclassed Tai 21-14. Tai Tzu Ying came up in the second game from a huge deficit to snatch the game 21-18. She changed the pace and brought in variation in her shots and finding the lines with her smashes. The third game went point by point as both the athletes fought her to book a berth in the semi-final. It was the number two seed Ying who prevailed at the end, 14-21, 21-18, 21-18. With this victory, Tai Tzu Ying enters the semifinals of a World Championships or Olympics for the first time. 

Ratchnok sobbed inconsolably after the bitter hard-fought Quarterfinal loss. Sports are unpredictable and can often be heartbreaking. But it also teaches you to not give up and bear with such losses and come back stronger!

Semi-final Line ups

PV Sindhu will face Tai Tzu Ying and He Bing Jiao will face Teammate Chen Yufei in the quarter-final.  China is therefore assured of a finalist and a medal in the Women’s singles category.

Tai Tzu Ying leads the Head-to-head against Sindhu 13-5, having won 3 of the last three encounters in the past one and a half years. However, Sindhu is currently in a brilliant form, while Tai is not at her best.

He Bing Jiao Leads 4-2 against Chen Yufei with Chen Yufei having won two of the last three meetings with them being none later than 2019. Both players have improved and it would be interesting to see how this clash turns out. Both the youngsters have matured mentally and added shots in their armoury.

The matches can be watched on SONYLIV and Sony Network channel in India starting 2:30 PM IST onwards(6 PM Japan Time onwards). Chen Yufei plays He Bing Jiao first, followed by PV Sindhu against Tai Tzu Ying.

Also Read: Wang/Huang win the gold in the badminton mixed doubles category

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