Saina Nehwal settles Bronze, now focus on Sidhu's performance
28 August, 2017, 01:15 | Author: Ora Austin
While Sindhu proved to be too strong for the young Chen Yufei, who is the reigning world junior champion, Okuhara and Saina Nehwal were locked in a deadly battle of attrition - one that may end up helping Sindhu in the final.
Though India have been winning a medal at World Championships since 2011, this will be the first time they will have two with Saina and Sindhu in semis.
Sindhu will be hoping to one better than her compatriot, Saina Nehwal, who won the silver medal in 2015.
Saina Nehwal gave herself a second chance to get into the title match, after yet another hard-fought win over local favourite, Kirsty Gilmour, in the Total Badminton World Championships on Friday. Playing the faster side of the court, Sindhu tried to make her opponent bend and move across the court with her acute-angled strokes.
While she took only 22 minutes to win the first game, the second, a neck-to-neck tussle, was stretched to the limits and Okuhara won it in 27 minutes. An extraordinary net return gave her another point and she grabbed the game point when Okuhara went long.
The lanky Indian came out with lot of unforced errors specially after putting up all her effort in the big rallies. Okuhara didn't allow Saina to take the lead and won the match.
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Sindhu started strongly, holding an 11-6 lead at the mid-game break.
At 15-13, another exceptional rally unfolded with Sindhu making the Japanese run to the deep corners and even though Okuhara made some remarkable retrieves she miscued a shot at the forecourt as Sindhu led 16-13.
Rio Olympics silver-medallist Sindhu finished her semifinal at around 2:30am on Sunday morning and she was again back on the court after 17 hours for the final.
Sindhu and Okuhara fought tooth and nail in the gripping final, often placed neck-and-neck. The pair never led in the first game and was only briefly up in the second.
Sindhu, however, turned the tables at 17-16 and had three game point at 20-17.
Then, Okuhara claimed three consecutive points as she showed more energy and agility as a exhausted Saina failed to stop her from dictating the rallies. Okuhara started representing Japan in 2010, while Sindhu first represented India in 2013.
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