World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu beats Ratchanok Intanon to reach final

Guangzhou: Indian shuttler PV Sindhu entered the final of the ongoing World Tour Finals after defeating Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the women’s singles event here on Saturday.

Sindhu, ranked world number six, defeated Thai world number eight by 21-16, 25-23 in the semi-final, which lasted 54 minutes.

The game started off with Intanon taking the first point. But once Sindhu got hold of her game, she exuded sheer class making it 2-2 with a cross-court shot. The Indian shuttler failed to reach a beautiful drop shot from Intanon, which resulted in Thai making it 4-4 in the first game.

The tight contest again saw an unforced error from the world number six and scoreline resulted in 7-7. However, pure aggression and three consecutive points, helped Sindhu to take a 10-7 lead against her Thai counterpart. But a cross-court smashed by Intanon and a wrong-footed Sindhu helped the world number eight in making a solid comeback 14-15 against the Indian. Soon after, Sindhu with four successive points and an unforced error by Intanon, helped the Olympics silver-medallist to take the first game 21-16.

With four consecutive points for Sindhu at the start of the second game, the Indian moved brilliantly on the court. However, as she went for the cross-court shot, she hit it too wide which benefitted her Thai opponent 4-2. But a brilliant smash from Sindhu extended her lead to 6-3.

Another three consecutive points came in for Sindhu as Intanon made a wrong call and the shuttle fell on the line. But an unforced error from Sindhu made the second game all square 10-10. Intanon turned the tables after winning four successive points and now the Thai led the game by 16-15 against Sindhu.

As the game took a crucial turnover, Sindhu picked up from where she left. With a cross-court smash, the Olympics silver-medallist made it 20-20. But with a solid comeback, Intanon made it 22-22. The Indian earned back to back points and took the game to 23-23 against her opponent. Sindhu, who held on to her nerves, wrapped up the match 25-23 to enter the final.

Without a title throughout the calendar year in spite of appearing in five finals, including the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, Sindhu will lock horns against Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, ranked world number five, in the summit clash on December 16.