Nanjing (China): Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu beat Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in straight games to cruise into the semifinals and assure herself of a medal in the World Championships here on Friday. Sindhu defeated Okuhara 21-17 21-19 in a 58-minute quarterfinal match to set up a semifinal clash against World No. 2 and another Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Saturday.
The World No. 3 Indian produced a dominant display against her World No. 6 rival as she avenged her defeat in the last edition summit clash. Sindhu had lost to Okuhara in the final last year 19-21 22-20 20-22 but on Friday, it was the India who got the upper hand throughout the match. The win by Sindhu meant that the head-to-head record between the two is now levelled at 6-6.
After the World Championships final last year, they had played five times against each other, including Friday’s, and Sindhu have won three of them as against two by Okuhara. This will be Sindhu’s fourth medal from the World Championships as she has already won two bronze and a silver.
Saina goes down easily to Marin
Saina Nehwal’s impressive run, however, came to a disappointing end as she lost 21-6, 21-11 to two-time champion Carolina Marin. In the men’s quarterfinals, B Sai Praneeth was no match to Kento Momota of Japan as he lost 12-21 12-21 in just 39 minutes. Mixed doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also couldn’t cross the quarter-final hurdle.