Playing with clinical precision defending champion PV Sindhu overcame two-time former champion Ratchanok Intanon 21-13, 21-15 to set up a title clash with USA’s Beiwen Zhang in the USD 350,000 Yone Sunrise India Open badminton at Siri Fort sports complex New Delhi on Saturday.
Zhang fought from a game down to upstage sixth seeded Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong 14-21, 21-12, 21-19 in other semifinal. .
Backed by vociferous home fans at the Siri Fort Indoor Stadium, Sindhu made a sensational start by collecting 12 points on the trot with a combination of lethal cross-court matches and brilliant net play.
She eased down a little at 13-3 but she had already done enough damage to pocket the game in 20 minutes.
The second game was a little more closely fought, with Intanon managing to get her game going. But a charged up Sindhu was in no mood to let up, clinching the game and match to set herself up for her second straight Indian Open title.
The 27-year-old Zhang, who is based in Las Vegas, later said, “I have the habit of starting slowly. But then I forced her to make errors,” she said, before exclaiming: “But I’m not surprised to be in the final.”
Earlier China’s Shi Yuqi and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Tien Chen chalked out contrasting victories to set up a title clash in men’s singles event .
Tien Chen dismantled Qiao Bin of China 23-21, 21-16 in 59 minutes to enter the final for the second year in succession while Yuqi was taken the distance by the spirited Malaysian Isqandar Zulkarnain before winning 18-21, 21-10, 21-19.
After losing the first game, the fourth seed Yuqi claimed the second without much fuss. But with Zulqarnain, who broke Indian hearts by upsetting second seed Kidambi Srikanth in the pre-quarters, battling hard the 21-year-old Yuqi had to dig deep to gain control.
At 20-18, Zulqarnain appeared down for the count but he reduced the margin after a 42-shot rally. However, Yuqi, who was the finalist at last year’s All England Open Championship sealed the game and match with a down the line smash.
In the women’s doubles, Indonesian pair of Greysia Polii and Apriyani Rahayu stunned the Danish top seeds Kamilla Rytter Juhl and Christinna Pedersen 21-14, 19-21, 21-18 in a three-game thriller that lasted one hour and 21 minutes.
Indian mixed doubles pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N. Sikki Reddy lost to Denmark’s Mathias Christiansen and Christinna Pedersen in the semifinals .
The eighth seeded Indian pair went down fighting 16-21, 19-21 against the fifth seeded Danish pair, who reached the finals at China Open and Hong Kong Open after starting as a pair at the Denmark Open last year.