Reigning world Champion PV Sindhu kept India's hopes of winning a first-ever Olympic gold in badminton alive as she reached the semifinals of women's singles with a fighting straight-game win over world no 5 Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Friday.
The 26-year-old Indian, who won a silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics, defended brilliantly and rode on her attack to outclass the fourth seeded Yamaguchi 21-13 22-20 in a 56-minute quarterfinal clash at the Musashino Forest Plaza in Tokyo.
Several fans celebrated Sindhu's gripping win against the Japanese and lauded the fightback produced by her in the second game. Sindhu, who at one stage was leading 14-8 in the second game, squandered her lead as Yamaguchi fought her way back into the contest.
The current world number four Japanese shuttler made complete use of the momentum and forced Sindhu to first save two game points, with scores reading 18-20. However, Sindhu held onto her nerves and secured the final four points in a row to send the local star out of the Olympics.
Here are a few reactions:
At 15-16, an average Indian Olympian would have lost the game in their head, but PV Sindhu is made of something else. Amazing!
— Gabbbar (@GabbbarSingh) July 30, 2021
— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) July 30, 2021
— Vijayakarthikeyan K (@Vijaykarthikeyn) July 30, 2021
.@Pvsindhu1 takes big step toward medal winning quarter final v Yamaguchi. Had to dig really deep to win second game. Impressive show of resilience
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) July 30, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) July 30, 2021
What a match! Sensational! Nerves of steel @Pvsindhu1!
— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) July 30, 2021
Sindhu will next face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Thailand's Ratchanok Inthanon and Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying.
- with PTI inputs