Sindhu, the reigning world champion, came back strongly after losing the first game and won the remaining two games against the third-seeded shuttler to storm into the semi-finals of the Super 1000 tournament in the United Kingdom.
In the match that lasted for 77 minutes both the players played the game of high standards and kept challenging each other, eventually, it was the Indian who held on to her nerves and ended up victorious and entered her second All England semi-finals.
Final Score: 16-21, 21-16, 21-19
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) March 19, 2021
Sindhu – who lost in the Swiss Open final two weeks back – started the first game on a positive note as she started by winning a couple of points but Yamaguchi displayed a brilliant counter-attack and soon took lead over the Indian.
At the half-way stage, the Japanese took a lead of 11-6 against the Indian and kept extending it, courtesy of some luck and brilliant diving shots on the court. However, Sindhu kept showing her talent by playing some extraordinary shots and forced the Japanese to play long rallies.
Some forced error from Sindhu cost her in the end as she couldn’t overcome the deficit and the Japanese claimed the first game 21-16 in just 19 minutes. The opening game, however, witnessed some exciting rallies but Sindhu had her tasks cut out.
In the second game, Sindhu broke the deadlock and took a lead of 1-0. But Yamaguchi didn’t let the Indian keep the service to herself for long as she levelled soon enough. Both the shuttlers played outside the court and gifted point each to their opponents and lost their service.
Sindhu played some aggressive shots and extended her lead to 6-2 but gave up 2 easy points. The Hyderabadi took a couple of points via cross-court smashes but the agile Japanese once again bridged the gap but at the half-way mark she took a five-point advantage and led 11-6.
Yamaguchi earned a couple of points but Sindhu forced her to play into the nets and broke the service. Sindhu took a lead of 13-8 by playing a rally of 29 shots. And the Indian took another point in a rally that lasted 24 shots.
Sindhu maintained a seven-point lead with some brilliant body line smashes and cross-court shots as the scoreline read 17-10. Sindhu then committed errors and lost three consecutive points, but another cross-court shot gave Sindhu her a lead of 18-12.
Sindhu got the game point with 20-15 but played a shot outside the court to lose the advantage but ended up winning it 21-16 in 24 minutes and took the game to the third and decider.
In the third game both the players kept raising the bar as the rallies became longer and longer. The two gun players also played near the nets to test each other’s strength. By the time referee allowed the two to take a respite and towel down the scoreline read 6-all.
After the short break, Yamaguchi grabbed three quick points using her reverse shot towards the opposite corner of the court.
Sindhu then came back strongly to level it 9-9 and at the halfway mark the Indian took an 11-9 lead before the players changed sides on the court. Soon after Sindhu earned points on the trot and took the lead to 13-9.
Sindhu took another big point as he earned a point to lead 14-10 after winning a 37-shot-long rally but soon lost her service and allowed her opponent to reduce the deficit by just one point 15-14. But a superb cross-court smash from Yamaguchi helped her level it 15-all.
After taking a lead of two points, Sindhu then squandered her points yet again and the scores were levelled 17-all. It was after a long time when Yamaguchi took the lead in the third game as she took the lead 18-17.
Sindhu then made full use of the court and once again levelled it to 18-all. The game kept proving to be an edge of the seat thriller as Yamaguchi equalled it to 19-all. But Sindhu soon forced the Japanese to commit a mistake and earned the match point and then she took the game 21-19 to storm into her second All England semi-final. The final game lasted for 34 incredible minutes and the two players put up a display of a fantastic game of badminton. She will now face Thailand’s Cho Chu Wong in the semi-final on Saturday (March 20).
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