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Singapore Open 2022: PV Sindhu brushes aside Saena Kawakami challenge, storms into the final

PV Sindhu

Bengaluru, July 16: Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is through to her first Super Series 500 final of the season after beating Japan's Saena Kawakami in the semifinal of the Singapore Open 2022 badminton tournament in Kallang.

The two-time Olympic medallist took just 32 minutes to brush aside the challenge of the Japanese opponent as Sindhu won 21-15, 21-7.

In the final on Sunday, Sindhu will take on China's Wang Zhi Yi, who beat Japan's Aya Ohori 21-14, 21-14 in the other last-four encounter.

The final will be held at 1pm local time (10.30am IST).

Viacom18's Sports18-1 will telecast the final live, while fans in India can also live stream the event and the match using VOOTSelect from 10.30 AM IST on July 17.

Sindhu had booked her semifinal berth following a hard fought quarterfinal match against Han Yue of China on court 1.

Singapore Open 2022: PV Sindhu storms into semifinals; Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy crash outSingapore Open 2022: PV Sindhu storms into semifinals; Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy crash out

The Indian ace had come from a game down to defeat the Chinese shuttler 17-21, 21-11, 21-19, in the last-eight match that lasted 1hr and 2min.

But in the semifinals, the Hyderabad shuttler, who is seeded third in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) sanctioned tournament, had it relatively easy as she pummeled her opponent, who is currently ranked 38, into submission.

Unseeded Kawakami had reached the semifinals after a straight games (21-17, 21-19) victory over sixth-seeded Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand.

But Sindhu proved too good for her.

With the win, Sindhu maintained her clean slate over Kawakami as the head-to-head record now stands 3-0.

Sindhu and Kawakami had met two times so far with the former world champion from India winning on both the occasions in straight games -- first at India Open 2017 and then at China Open 2018.

In India Open, Sindhu defeated Kawakami 21-16, 23-21 in the second round, while the ace Indian shuttler got the better of the Japanese 21-15, 21-13 in their most recent meeting in the opening round of 2018 China Open.

The plot was no different on Saturday (July 16) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang with Sindhu dominating from the word go.

The two-time Commonwealth Games medallist, will now lead the Indian charge at the quadrennial event in Birmingham starting on July 28.

For the records, Sindhu is the only Indian left in the fray in the BWF-sanctioned Super Series 500 event.

PV Sindhu

Her compatriot Saina Nehwal had lost in the quarterfinals, despite having two match points.

The 32-year-old went down 13-21, 21-15, 20-22 to Japan's Aya Ohori in a tight contest, which lasted an hour and three minutes.

Earlier, in the men's singles quarterfinals, HS Prannoy gave a tough fight to Japan's Kodai Naraoka before going down 21-12, 14-21, 18-21.

The doubles pair of Dhruv Kapila and MR Arjun too had bite the dust in the quarterfinals, going down to Indonesia's Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan 21-10, 18-21, 17-21 in a 49-minute encounter.

Strong start

Sindhu started with her whipping smashes and sealed the opening game comfortably. Kawakami's struggles continued in the second game as she failed to control the shuttle and conceded a 0-5 early lead to her fancied rival.

Sindhu just had to keep engaging her rival in the rallies and patiently wait for her mistakes.

When Kawakami's return finally went out again, Sindhu pumped her fist as she is now just one win away from her maiden Super Series 500 event of the season.

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Story first published: Saturday, July 16, 2022, 19:20 [IST]
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