Dubai Open: PV Sindhu to take on Chen Yufei in semis

  • Dubai Open: PV Sindhu to take on Chen Yufei in semis

Dubai Open: PV Sindhu to take on Chen Yufei in semis

"P.V. Sindhu, you played a fighting game despite ill health".

Determined Sindhu made a good start in the decider game and made her opponent run around the court with her long shots.

However, Sindhu improved her defensive game and looked confident.

This was from the gold medal match in the Dubai World Superseries Finals.

PV Sindhu contested her third major final in the last two years on Sunday and went within touching distance once more before falling painfully short again.

Three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee won the Finals in 2008 (Kota Kinabalu), 2009 (Johor Baru), 2010 (New Taipei City, Taiwan) and 2013 (Kuala Lumpur). Though a couple of shots on her rival's backhand helped Sindhu to come back at 19-19, the Indian found the net next shot as she handed over the championship point to Yamaguchi.

The Hyderabadi was involved in some of the most intense matches of the year, including the epic Worlds final against Nozomi Okuhara that lasted 110 minutes, and the one against Yamaguchi on Sunday that fell just seven short of a century of minutes. And no, that doesn't amount to Sindhu being an unaccomplished player but rather to her style of play. While Sindhu's stamina seemed to be waning in the end, as she struggled to play the attacking shots she normally does, Yamaguchi was still going for it.

One can always argue that her opponents had got exhausted as well but clearly not as quick and as much as the Indian.

In the second, the 20-year-old Yamaguchi trailed 0-5 at first but a tactical change gradually gave her the upper hand.

Yamaguchi was too strong to be halted by Sindhu as the former was determined to take the match to the third game. A couple of unforced errors by Sindhu allowed Yamaguchi to narrow the gap to 7-8, but the Japanese then set up the next point superbly, closing it with a body smash to draw parity at 8-8.