Dubai World Superseries Finals 2017: PV Sindhu trounces Akane Yamaguchi; Kidambi Srikanth's poor run continues

Dubai: Already assured of a semi-final spot, Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu continued her rampaging run with a straight-game demolition of World No 2 Japanese Akane Yamaguchi, but Kidambi Srikanth's dismal run ended with another defeat at the $1 million Dubai Superseries Finals.

World No 3 Sindhu thrashed Yamaguchi 21-9, 21-13 in just 36 minutes to top group A in women's singles at the Sheikh Hamdan Indoor Stadium. This was her last group stage match.

However, World No 4 Srikanth suffered his third straight loss in men's singles Group B, going down 17-21 21-19 14-21 to All England Championship finalist Chinese Shi Yuqi in the last group stage match.

Sindhu, who clinched two Superseries titles this season before winning a silver at the World Championship, will on Saturday face China's Chen Yufei, who saw off Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon 21-18, 13-21, 21-18 in a Group B match.

File image of PV Sindhu. PTI

File image of PV Sindhu. PTI

The 22-year-old Indian showed great anticipation and athleticism to completely dominate the proceedings even as Yamaguchi got buried under a heap of unforced errors in the last Group A women's singles match.

Before the match, Sindhu had a 4-2 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi, which included a win at the Hong Kong Superseries last month.

Sindhu made a rousing start to the match, zooming to a 5 -0 lead. An error at the net allowed Yamaguchi to break it before Sindhu wrested back the serve. The Japanese was effected by a series of unforced errors as she sent the shuttle flying wide and long.

Sindhu entered the opening break at 11-1 with a superb return and continued to rule the roost after the breather, reaching 15-4. Yamaguchi won points sporadically, exploiting the Indian's backhand a couple of times, but she failed to curb her unforced errors.

At 18-6, Sindhu committed a fault at the net but she followed that with a smash and gained 13 game points when her opponent went wide again.

Yamaguchi saved a couple of game points before Sindhu wrapped up the opening game with a delightful cross court drop.

The second game started on an equal footing with Sindhu and Yamaguchi splitting the initial four points after engaging in some fierce rallies. At 6-7, the duo engaged in a long rally before Yamaguchi sent it wide. A couple of unforced errors and Sindhu was leading 6-8.

The Japanese again narrowed it down to 8-9 before an accurate down-the-line smash and an error at the net by Yamaguchi helped Sindhu enter the lemon break with a three- point advantage.

The ordeal continued for Yamaguchi as she struggled to control the shuttle, allowing Sindhu to move to a 13-8 lead. A favourable video referral and a miscued shot by a stretched Sindhu gave a couple of points to the Japanese before Sindhu unleashed a roaring smash.

A low lift at the forecourt and an overhead return going to net further swelled Sindhu's lead. The Indian capitalised by a cross court drop, reaching 18-12.

A deceptive return and another miscued stroke by Yamaguchi handed Sindhu seven match points and she sealed it with a quick reflex near the net.

After two straight losses, Srikanth stretched Shi Yuqi to the decider after grabbing the second game but he was no match to his opponent in the third game.

It turned out to be an anti-climax for Srikanth, who became the first Indian to win four Superseries titles this season.

Published Date: Dec 15, 2017 22:20 PM | Updated Date: Dec 16, 2017 00:18 AM

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