PV Sindhu, HS Prannoy advance to semi-finals of Malaysia Masters 2023


India’s badminton ace PV Sindhu sealed a spot in the women’s singles semi-finals of the Malaysia Masters 2023 on Friday.

A two time Olympic medallist, PV Sindhu defeated Zhang Yi Man of the People’s Republic of China 21-16, 13-21, 22-20 in a closely-fought quarter-final clash to progress to the final four in the BWF World Tour Super 500 event.

Playing at the Axiata Arena in the Malaysian capital, PV Sindhu, ranked 13th in the BWF world rankings, cruised to a 7-2 lead in the first game. Zhang Yi Man rallied to win five consecutive points and tie the score at 10-10. However, PV Sindhu dominated the rest of the game to take the lead.

In the second game, Zhang Yi Man raced to a 10-3 lead before comfortably winning the second game and forcing a decider.

In the final game, PV Sindhu and Zhang Yi Man, a former worlds bronze medallist, traded rallies early on and were tied at 12-12. As the game progressed, the lead exchanged hands several times before the Indian held her nerves to win the final two points and sealed the match.

In the semis, PV Sindhu will play seventh seed and world No. 9 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia. The Indian had lost to the Indonesian at the Madrid Spain Masters 2023 final last month.

In the men’s singles, HS Prannoy, the world No. 9, also advanced to the semi-finals with a hard-fought 25-23, 18-21, 21-13 win over Kenta Nishimoto of Japan in his last eight match.

HS Prannoy led most of the first game with Kenta Nishimoto playing catch-up. As the game progressed, the Japanese shuttler upped the ante and levelled up the score. From 22-22, HS Prannoy held off the challenge from his Japanese opponent to take the extended game.

HS Prannoy and Kenta Nishimoto again went toe-to-toe in the second game but the Japanese shuttler won five consecutive points to put the Indian on the back foot and took the match into a third game.

In the decider, Kenta Nishimoto failed to match HS Prannoy’s intensity as the Indian booked his spot in the final four.

HS Prannoy will face Christian Adinata of Indonesia, who defeated Kidambi Srikanth 16-21, 21-16, 21-11, for a place in the final.

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