Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu surpassed USA’s Beiwen Zhang in straight sets to advance to the semi-finals of BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou, China on Friday.
Sindhu trumped Zhang 21-9, 21-15 in just 35 minutes to maintain her winning run and qualify for the last-four stage, having topped Group A in the standings. Top two shuttlers of each group will make it to the semis.
Zhang started well and raced away to a 4-0 lead in no time. But Sindhu, who has overseen World No.1 Tai Tzu-Ying and the second-ranked Akane Yamaguchi within a day of each other, quickly bounced back to level the scores at 6-6 and then increase the lead to 11-8 at the break.
World No.6, Sindhu was at her destructive best post the changeover and allowed the American just one more point before sealing the opening set 21-9 in a little over 15 minutes.
Sindhu maintained her tempo in the second game and took a 4-0 lead. But the 16th ranked Zhang this time fought back to level the set at 7-7. Mixing her game with powerful smashes and clever foot movements, Zhang kept the Indian on her toes. Sindhu led 11-9 at the break.
But the game changed drastically post the break as Sindhu reigned supreme giving Zhang no opportunities to claw back into the encounter. She won the set 21-15 and sealed the first semi-final berth.
In the men’s singles event, Sameer Verma, who is the only other Indian competing at the event, remained in contention for a semi-final berth with a straight sets victory over Thailand’s Kantaphon Wangcharoen.
Verma beat Wangcharoen 21-9, 21-18 and will now need Kento Momota to defeat Tommy Sugiarto to have any chances of making it to the last-four stage.
A Momota win will ensure the Japanese a top spot in Group B, while Verma will finish second with two victories and a loss. But if Sugiarto manages to overturn the world champion then the group will be in a transfix with Momota, Verma and Sugiarto, each winning twice and losing one.
In that case, the organisers will take a call on who has won more number of games.