11.44 am: At one point the commentator wondered what Akane Yamaguchi has for her meals to just keep her energy at these levels so relentlessly. In a highlight reel, Sindhu would have the better winners perhaps even today but Akane on top pretty much throughout. Worth noting that, Akane Yamaguchi and PV Sindhu are already through to the World Tour Finals that’s coming up soon in Bali.
Later on, we will have Srikanth vs Antonsen in the men’s singles semifinal.
This is how the second game panned out. Sindhu never won more than one point on the trot:
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 21-9 PV Sindhu: And Akane Yamaguchi’s sensational recent form continues. She takes care of PV Sindhu in just 32 minutes.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 20-8 PV Sindhu: Match points. Aplenty.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 19-8 PV Sindhu: Brutal. This has all unravelled pretty quickly for Sindhu.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 16-8 PV Sindhu: Simply too good with her drop shots is Akane. Catching Sindhu off balance repeatedly. Sindhu gets the serve back with a nice winner.... and guessed it right, Akane gets the next point.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 14-7 PV Sindhu: Once again, Sindhu gets the serve back after a hard-earned point but Akane ups the ante immediately after. And then Sindhu gets a push to the backcourt perfectly right for another great winner. Next rally? A backhand error.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 11-5 PV Sindhu: Sindhu constructs a super point but because Yamaguchi keeps sending the shuttle back, the error comes from the Indian eventually. Sindhu has the serve back at 5-10 with a nice winner but sends the shuttle long as Akane takes a 11-5 lead to the interval.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 8-3 PV Sindhu: Commentator says he wants to know what Akane has in her meals to keep her energy levels so high. Same, same. Sindhu with a mini-roar as she plays a great point to make it 3-7 but Akane responds immediately. Again.
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 4-1 PV Sindhu: Telling stat of the first game... Sindhu was not allowed to win more than 2 consecutive points at any point. Relentless pressure from Yamaguchi. She needs that to change more than anything in the second game but AY has started brilliantly again.
Here’s how the first game panned out
Akane Yamaguchi 21-13 PV Sindhu: A dominant performance so far from Akane Yamaguchi. PV Sindhu had a few moments of brilliance but fleeting. What can coach Park tell Sindhu to help her find the rhythm?
Akane Yamaguchi 20-13 PV Sindhu: About damage limitation for Sindhu here, saves a couple of game points. Needs some momentum going into the second game.
Akane Yamaguchi 20-11 PV Sindhu: Lucky net chord for Akane and she has 9 game points.
Akane Yamaguchi 19-10 PV Sindhu: Magical, says the commentator but the Indian needs more of that. Sindhu gets into double digits with a superb forehand winner crosscourt but the next point is won by AY with a terrific down the line smash.
Akane Yamaguchi 17-9 PV Sindhu: More errors from Sindhu as she tries to find winners. Game firmly on AY’s racket at the moment and as we say that, a rare unforced error from her.
Akane Yamaguchi 16-8 PV Sindhu: Problem of putting together a string of points continues for Sindhu. And now apart from the winners for AY, the errors are piling for Sindhu too.
Akane Yamaguchi 12-7 PV Sindhu: What a point to restart the game. Great rallying from both but AY gets the point with a brilliant around the head drop shot.
Akane Yamaguchi 11-7 PV Sindhu: Decent recovery by Sindhu after a slow start but it is Yamaguchi who takes the lead into the mid-game interval.
Akane Yamaguchi 10-6 PV Sindhu: Sindhu decidedly second best in the early exchanges but what a sensational point at 4-9! Superb from both players to not give up, but Sindhu’s persistence at the net pays off. She makes it 6-10 at the back of the longest rally so far. 16 shots.
Akane Yamaguchi 9-4 PV Sindhu: Sindhu unable to win points on the trot. It’s coming in ones at the moment. Terrific drop shot there from the Japanese. Sindhu ups the pace next rally and gets the smash perfectly onto AY’s body.
Akane Yamaguchi 7-2 PV Sindhu: Correction to the score previously. Sindhu gets the judgement at backline right this time and a challenge from Akane that’s unsuccessful. The Indian needs a run of points here...but she gives the serve right back.
Akane Yamaguchi 5-1 PV Sindhu: There are bruising rallies when these two meet and there is the first of those that goes Sindhu’s way. But the Indian gives the serve back immediately, and then wins the next point with a powerful straight smash.
Akane Yamaguchi 3-0 PV Sindhu: An early challenge lost for Sindhu as challenges the call on the back line and it is ever so close. On the line, just. Yamaguchi has started on the front foot here. Early days of course, but Sindhu moving a bit slow.
PV Sindhu leads the H2H 12-7. She has won the two meetings this year. But Yamaguchi has been near unstoppable in recent weeks. This could be good. Really good. Yamaguchi to serve...
Exhibit H for why winning a rally against Akane Yamaguchi is never easy
Time for Chapter 20 in the PV Sindhu vs Akane Yamaguchi rivalry. The semifinal at Indonesia Masters is between the Tokyo 2020 bronze medallist and the player who has been on fire since the Olympics.
|WOMEN'S SINGLES||PV SINDHU||AKANE YAMAGUCHI|
|CAREER W-L (before this tournament)||354-151 (505)||333-114 (447)|
|THIS YEAR W-L||23-9||27-3|
10.49 am: The mixed doubles match is nearing completion on the main court.... next up is chapter 20 in the Akane Yamaguchi-PV Sindhu rivalry.
Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the semifinals at the Indonesia Masters Super 750 badminton tournament in Bali where PV Sindhu takes on Akane Yamaguchi.
Two-time Olympic medallist Indian shuttler PV Sindhu registered a dominant straight games win over Turkey’s Neslihan Yigit to enter the women’s singles semifinal.
Sindhu, seeded third, scripted a convincing 21-13 21-10 win over the unseeded Yigit in 35 minutes to extend her dominating head-to-head record against the Turkish shuttler to 4-0. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad had beaten Yigit last month as well in the Denmark Open.
Sindhu, who has got relatively easy opponents until now, takes on a familiar foe for this semifinal clash. Yamaguchi is arguably the most in-form women’s singles shuttler in the world at the moment and this won’t be easy for the Indian star.