Sindhu stormed into the semifinals of the women’s singles event after defeating Japan’s number four seed Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals. Sindhu defeated Yamaguchi 21-13, 22-20. The quarterfinal clash between Sindhu and Yamaguchi lasted for 56 minutes.
Sindhu, who is one of India’s top medal hopes this time, won a silver at the last Olympics in Rio and a gold at the World Championships in 2019. She put Yamaguchi under pressure right from the start, using her trademark mastery over smashes.
She also played well closer to the net, displaying good control over the game throughout. This was the 19th match between Sindhu and Yamaguchi – and it marked the Indian star’s 12th win against the Japanese player.
Yamaguchi, who is ranked fifth in the world, had an edge at the start of the first game, but Sindhu, who is ranked seventh, quickly took charge and dominated thereafter.
The second game was more balanced, with Yamaguchi fighting back to end the deficit. She took seven points on the trot to make the score 15-15 before taking a one-point lead.
Both players fought hard for each point from here on, with Sindhu overhauling Yamaguchi’s two-point game lead to win the match. Sindhu’s win is a welcome respite for India after a heartbreaking week.