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PV Sindhu enters All England semifinals after thrilling win over Okuhara

PV Sindhu

Birmingham: Olympic silver medallist shuttler PV Sindhu produced a top-notch performance to eke out a thrilling three-game victory over 2016 champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to progress to her maiden semi-final at the USD 1000,000 All England Championship here on Friday.

The quarterfinal clash lived up to its billing as Sindhu and Okuhara strained every sinew to dish out yet another nail-biting contest at the Arena Birmingham.

It boiled down to finding the right balance of aggression and patience and Sindhu ensured that she had the last laugh as she outwitted Okuhara 20-22 21-18 21-18 in a battle that lasted an hour and 24 minutes here.

With this victory, Sindhu registered her fifth win over the Nagano-born World No. 6 Japanese, who robbed her of a World Championship gold at Glasgow after a 110-minute marathon battle which went down in history as one of the greatest.

“It was like the World Championship and Dubai Super Series match, not so long may be but it was not easy to play against Okuhara. We know each other’s game so there were long rallies. We had to give our best,” World No. 3 Sindhu said moments after the match.

“We can’t expect easy points, we have to strategise our game focusing on each point. I was down in the decider and she was leading 16-12 like yesterday against (Nitchaon) Jindapol. So I am just happy I could fight back and win. It feels really great to be at the semi-final.

“But it is not over because tomorrow going to be a big match. I have to recover and give my 100 percent,” added the Indian, who will face either Olympic champion Carolina Marin or world no 2 Akane Yamaguchi tomorrow.

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