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BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu sets up title clash with An Seyoung

Bengaluru, December 4: PV Sindhu has reached the final of the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals in Bali, Indonesia, with a hard-fought 21-15, 15-21, 21-15 win over Japan's world No.3 Akane Yamaguchi.

In the final on Sunday (December 5), the ace Indian shuttler will take on South Korea's An Seyoung, who beat Thailand's Pornpawee Chochuwong 25-23, 21-17 in the other last-four encounter.

It was a sweet revenge for Sindhu, who had lost to the two-time Olympic medallist at the same stage of the Indonesia Open Badminon Tournament last month.

This was the 21st meeting in the pro-circuit between Sindhu and Yamaguchi.

Going into the semifinals, the Indian, seeded third in the tournament had a 12-8 head-to-head record as the 26-year-old improved it to 13-8.

It may be recalled that Sindhu had also defeated Yamaguchi in the Tokyo Games quarterfinal match, 21-13, 22-20 in August.

BWF World Tour Finals: Semis-bound Sindhu loses final group match; Srikanth, Ashwini-Sikki bow outBWF World Tour Finals: Semis-bound Sindhu loses final group match; Srikanth, Ashwini-Sikki bow out

The win against Yamaguchi on Saturday also helped end her recent run of five semifinal defeats.

And standing between Sindhu and a triumph is Seyoung, who is looking for her third title in as many weeks in Bali. Game on! Bring it on!

The only Indian to win the prestigious title in 2018, Sindhu was a finalist at the event the year before and she will be looking to add one title to her kitty.

It will be Sindhu's third final appearance in the season-ending tournament. She had won the title in 2018 to become the only Indian to achieve the feat.

Sindhu has been in fine form after picking up a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics. She had reached the semifinals in her last three events -- French Open, Indonesia Masters and Indonesia Open -- before coming into the BWF World Tour Finals.

The BWF world No.7 had also finished as runner-up in the Swiss Open in March.

At Bali, in the group stages, Sindhu started with a bang, beating Denmark's Line Christophersen 21-14, 21-16 and then followed it up with an easy 21-10, 21-13 win over Germany's Yvonne Li 21-10, 21-13 to assure herself a place in the round-of-four.

Although the Hyderabai shutter lost to Thailand's Chochuwong 12-21, 21-19, 14-21 in the final group A match that lasted for 1 hour and 11 minutes at the Mangupura Hall, against Yamaguchi, Sindhu put her best foot forward.

The third game was a close one with Sindhu twice frittering away big leads. However when it mattered most, the double Olympic champion held her nerve to clinch a thriller.

After this tournament, the 26-year-old will stay back at Indonesia for the title defence of the BWF World Championships in which she has been given a first-round bye.

Sindhu gets first round bye in World C'ships, Tai Tzu in line in quartersSindhu gets first round bye in World C'ships, Tai Tzu in line in quarters

Sindhu has been seeded sixth in the December 12-19 showpiece event and faces the prospect of coming up against Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying and former world number one Carolina Marin in the quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.

Marin returns from injury straight into the BWF World Championships and she will be playing in an arena named after her.

Tai Tzu has also taken sufficient rest as she has not played since winning silver at Tokyo 2020.

Meanwhile, the other Indian in action, Lakshya Sen, failed to make it to the finals. Sen, playing in his first ever World Tour Finals, lost to World No. 1 Viktor Axelsen in the semifinals on Saturday. 20-year-old Sen went down to Axelsen 21-13, 21-11.

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Story first published: Saturday, December 4, 2021, 16:08 [IST]
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