Kuala Lumpur: Rio Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu booked her place in the semi-finals of the Malaysia Open badminton championship with a convincing straight games victory over arch-rival Carolina Marin of Spain in their last-eight clash here on Friday.
Keeping her nerves intact, Sindhu swept aside Marin 22-20, 21-19 in a thrilling quarter-final clash that lasted for 52 minutes.
The match started with Sindhu grabbing the opening point before the Spanish player scored the equalizer.
Sindhu then made a strong comeback by smashing back-to-back points leading the opening set 3-2.
The match then moved forward in a steady manner as there were easy pick ups from both sides and no long rallies so far.
Despite Sindhu’s hard efforts of not letting her opponent gain the lead, the Rio Olympic gold-medalist finally left the Indian behind and took the lead of 13-11 for the very first time in the match.
After losing the momentum for a short span of time, Sindhu hit back and gained the 15-14 lead, only to see Marin score the equalizer.
After a hard-fought battle of 25 minutes, Sindhu won the first set 22-20.
The second set started on a hard note, with players getting back to each other strongly and showing some aggression on the court.
Sindhu gained back-to-back points to lead the second set 9-6. Hitting back hard, Marin also replied to cut Sindhu’s lead to 13-10.
The Spanish counterpart kept attacking the Indian hard and reduced her trail to 13-15.
Marin stunned the Indian shuttler by gaining four consecutive points taking the score to 17-15 in her favour.
Showing some brilliant badminton on the court, Sindhu reverted strongly and gained the lead of two points as the points table showed the score 19-17 in Indian’s favour.
With a fabulous smash, Sindhu scored the match point and proved her mettle against the former world number 1.
It was Sindhu’s fourth victory over Marin in their nine encounters so far. (ANI)