PV Sindhu came one step closer to breaking her gold medal rut in the World Badminton Championship for the third consecutive time as she defeated fourth seed Chen Yu Fei of China in a dominant semi-final 21-7, 21-14. She will meet the winner of the second semi-final which will be between Nozomi Okuhara and Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand. It was a brilliant performance from Sindhu as she showed that her improved fitness level kept her in a good stead as she aims to overcome the pain of the 2017 and 2018 finals loss.
Sindhu started the match on an aggressive notewon six consecutive points as she raced away to a 8-2 lead. Chen Yu Fei tried to get in the game but Sindhu was in her elements as she continued to play solid badminton. The Indian shuttler extended her lead and maintained her serve consistently as she won the first game 21-7 in just 19 minutes.
In the second game, Chen Yu Fei increased her intensity and kept in close touch but Sindhu held her nerve at crucial intervals as she took a 10-6 lead. Chen tried to bounce back and be aggressive but Sindhu calmly held on to her lead and did not yield an inch to the Chinese as the Indian put up a brilliant display of domination.
The Indian shuttler held her nerve as the match reached the end and she won the final game and came one step closer to clinching the gold medal in the world championship for the first time.
Sindhu had lost to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan and Carolina Marin of Spain respectively in the summit clash of the last two editions of the World Championships in 2017 and 2018.
Before leaving for Basel, Sindhu was working on her fitness and she hoped that this would help her in her quest to win the World Championship for the first time. "Well, I have trained hard and I hope I can do well. I have to perform well but there is no pressure. I been working on my defence, physical fitness and also on-court skills. We do have all kinds of strokes but to improve we have to keep training. So I have to do it all the time to make myself perfect," Sindhu told PTI in interview. "It is important to know which strokes to play at the right time, sometimes you can get tired and you can go blank but as a player you need to know which strokes to play in tough situations," she said.
Sindhu and Saina Nehwal were static at fifth and eighth spots respectively in the recently released Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings. Among the men's singles shuttlers, Kidambi Srikanth and Sameer Verma managed to hold on to their 10th and 13th spots in the latest rankings issued on Tuesday.