Badminton World Championships 2018: PV Sindhu eyes second straight final

first_imgPV Sindhu will be eyeing her second consecutive Badminton World Championships final when she takes on Japan’s world No.2 Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-final of BWF World Championships 2018 in Nanjing, China on Saturday.Sindhu buried the hatchet against Nozomi Okuhara on Friday as she beat the defending champion 21-17, 21-19 to guarantee herself a fourth World Championships medal.Sindhu had lost an energy-sapping one hour 50 minutes final against Okuhara in Glasgow last year but this time in the quarter-finals, Sindhu looked far more in control and did not let the past bog her down.She will have to do the same against Yamaguchi today. Sindhu currently leads their head-to-head record 6-4 and in the last six matches between the two, both of them have won three each.Also read – PV Sindhu overcomes Okuhara to reach semis The last time these two met was in the semi-final of All England Badminton Championships 2018 in three games. Sindhu had won the first game 21-19 but lost the next two 19-21, 18-21 to bow out of the tournament.Interestingly, all the three matches out of their last six encounters that Sindhu has won, have all come in straight games. Evidently, Sindhu will have to look to do the same on Saturday as well. Akane Yamaguchi is currently ranked 2nd in the world (AP Photo)Just like Okuhara, Sindhu cannot afford to be bound by the long battles that Yamaguchi will force her into. Sindhu showed a wide range of strokes on Friday to defeat Okuhara and the Indian will have to display a similar variety against Yamaguchi.advertisementYamaguchi is coming into the semi-final at the back of a 21-13, 17-21, 21-16 win against China’s Chen Yu Fei and her ability to fight out of crunch situations will give her a lot of belief.Sindhu will need to believe as well. The failure of 2017 Dubai Superseries Finals final against Yamaguchi will still be fresh in Sindhu mind just like All England. In both these matches, Sindhu won the first game but Yamaguchi took the next two to snatch the match and those memories put Sindhu in a precarious situation.Sindhu will need the mental resolve she showed against Okuhara in the quarter-final. Okuhara took the lead early on in both the games of the match but Sindhu kept her cool and stuck to her plan to take the match. This is what she will require against Yamaguchi.For the past 2-3 years, opponents look to tire her in order to win matches against her. Rallies keep getting longer and the physically fitter players take the match. Sindhu will have to fight that mental block.The win against Okuhara was a step towards resolving the riddle of the rally players in Nanjing only to land herself a stronger but similar puzzle in the semi-final.In the other women’s singles, Carolina Marin will take on home favourite He Bingjiao and whoever takes this match will wait the winner of Sindhu vs Yamaguchi — a match that is slated to be the second last match of the Saturday evening.last_img read more