Two-time World Championship bronze-medallist P V Sindhu advanced to the quarterfinals of the women’s singles competition after notching up a dominating straight-game win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying at the Olympic Games.
The 21-year-old from Hyderabad outclassed eighth seed Tai 21-13 21-15 in a 40-minute pre-quarterfinals clash. She will next take on the winner of the match between Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon and Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi.
Sindhu, who has a 2-4 record against Tai Tzu, having beaten her last at the Denmark Open last year, opened up a 3-1 lead early on and even though Tai came back to draw level at 5-5, the Indian managed to lead 11-6 at the break.
Tai depended on her deceptive game to reduce the margin to 10-12 but she was equally erratic with her placements sometimes, while Sindhu showed better presence of mind.
Sindhu won a video referral to reach the game point at 20-13 and then pocketed it comfortably with Tai hitting wide.
After the change of ends, Sindhu once again moved to a 3-1 lead but she erred twice on her backhand returns to give away two points.
Tai tried to take away the pace from the rallies and came up with a few down the line smashes to make it 6-6 after Sindhu dropped her serve.
However, Tai’s inability to rein in her unforced errors saw Sindhu lead 11-6 at the interval.
Tai tried to put pressure on Sindhu but failed to give the finishing touch as Sindhu sailed away to a 14-7 lead.
With Sindhu in full flow, Tai seemed clueless and was not able to play her own game, staying away from the net.
The Chinese Taipei girl found it difficult to control the shuttle and hit long twice to allow Sindhu a lead of 17-11. A couple of drop shots deflected by the net chord took Sindhu to 19-12 before Tai sent one to the net to gift eight match points to Sindhu.
Tai saved three match points before another long shot saw Sindhu seal the issue in her favour.
Earlier, K Srikanth also reached the quarterfinals of the men’s singles after beating World No. 5 Jan Jorgensen of
Denmark in straight games.
“It’s a good win also in the morning Srikanth has won, so it’s a great moment on the Independence Day. I wish we will give our best tomorrow,” Sindhu, who will next face world number two Yihan Wang in the last eight, said.
Yihan is a London 2012 Olympics silver medalist and 2011 World Championship champion and also a winner of the Asian Games gold medalist in Incheon 2014.
“It will be tough, not easy. I have to give my best. I will discuss the strategy with my coach. I’ve played against her long ago, but it’s been a long gap,” Sindhu said.
“Even I feel she’s also playing well nowadays, it won’t be easy. It will depend on the strategy on that particular day. Sometime you may play fantastically and on the other hand it may not go your way. It all depends on the given day.”
Talking about her match against Tai Tzu Ying, Sindhu said: “I was basically alert for every shot. There was no particular strategy.
“She is a very tricky player and having many flicks and letting it loose even though I was winning points. It was a good game overall.”
Asked about her strategy to smash on the body, Sindhu said: “It was a mix of everything, and hitting mixed court shots out. I did not take it easy at any point.
“Rallies were going long and she was having good flicks. She was also attacking and her drop shots were very good,” Sindhu said praising Tai.