Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu advanced to the semifinals of the China Open after defeating local favourite He Bingjiao in straight games at the USD 700,000 Super Series Premier event.
Seventh seed Sindhu notched up a 22-20 21-10 win over Bingjiao, who has won four titles — Bitburger Open, French Open, Japan Open and Swiss Open — this season in women’s singles competition.
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad will take on the winner of the match between Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi and sixth seed Sung Ji Hyun, seeded sixth.
In men singles, Ajay Jayaram could not get across the reigning Olympic champion, two-time World champion and All England champion Chen Long of China, suffering a 15-21 14-21 defeat in a 40-minute clash.
Sindhu lagged behind from the start as Bingjiao took a 5-1 lead early on and despite the Indian breathing down her neck with leads of 7-6, 12-11, 14-12, the Chinese managed to wrest control leading 17-14.
Sindhu kept fighting and moved neck and neck from 17-17 to 20-20, before marching ahead. She closed the 21 minute opening game when Bingjiao sent the shuttle wide.
The left-handed Chinese opened a 2-0 lead in the second game but Sindhu levelled, riding on the errors of Bingjiao.
The Indian mixed her strokes well, using tosses and lifts to push her rival at the corners and came up with some sharp smashes and half smashes to lead 7-3.
Sindhu was lucky to get a point at 10-4 when the chair umpire overruled a challenge by the Chinese despite the screen showing the shuttle kissing the line. Bingjiao then hit long again as the Indian entered the break at 11-5.
A tired looking Bingjiao faltered with her length and accuracy of strokes to help Sindhu continue her march ahead to 14-5. Bingjiao grabbed three points before Sindhu broke the rhythm when the Chinese’s back hand slice went to net.
A superb back hand smash helped Bingjiao take another point. But the Chinese continued to stumble on errors which included a wide shot that took Sindhu to 17-9, a long serve and a shot going long. Sindhu sealed the second game in 17 minutes after Bingjiao once again hit long.