Badminton Worlds, as it happened: Sindhu beats Yamaguchi 21-16, 24-22 to enter second straight final
The 23-year-old will take on Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the final.
Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu beat world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi in straight games in the semi-finals of the 2018 badminton world championships on Saturday. The 23-year-old will take on Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the final. Marin beat China’s He Bingjiao 13-21, 21-16, 21-13 in the other semi-final.
7.47 pm: That’s it from us tonight. Join us again on Sunday for what promises to be a blockbuster final.
7.32 pm: Sindhu didn’t make it easy for her supporters today. In the first game, she was 4-8 down before winning 17 of the next 25 points to take the lead in the match. In the second game, she was trailing 12-19 but won 12 of the next 15 points to seal the match.
7.30 pm: This also means that the summit clash on Sunday will be a repeat of the Rio Olympics final – PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin. Cannot wait!!
7.29 pm: PV Sindhu is into her second straight world championship final. Take a bow!
7.27 pm: Yamaguchi hits wide to give Sindhu her third match point. This time, she converts! She wins 21-16, 24-22 to enter the final!
7.25 pm: At game point, Yamaguchi completely botches her serve and we’re back level to 21-21. Sindhu then wins the next point to take another match point, before the two players engage in an amazing long rally! The shuttle seemed to be going long two times but Sindhu still goes for it, and she ends up losing the point! The rally lasted 41 shots! It’s back level at 22-22.
7.23 pm: Now it’s a game point for Yamaguchi. 21-20.
7.22 pm: Sindhu’s run ends as she nets the shuttle! It’s 20-20! What a match!
7.21 pm: Match point for Sindhu! It’s 20-19! Eight straight points!
7.20 pm: Sindhu fights back from 12-19 down to 19-19 in the second game. Seven points in a row! She’s now two points away from a spot in the final! Can she make it?
7.13 pm: Yamaguchi continues to maintain a four-point gap between her and Sindhu as the second game draws to an end. She leads 16-12 and it looks like we are going into a decider.
7.08 pm: Yamaguchi takes a 11-7 lead into the interval of the second game. Sindhu has dropped some of the intensity she had in the first game, which seems to have transferred to the Japanese.
7.04 pm: Sindhu closes the gap to 7-9 in the second game, but that’s more down to some errors from Yamaguchi. She needs to take control of the game like she did in the first.
7 pm: Yamaguchi has stepped on the pedal in the second game. She looks a lot more determined and active, leading Sindhu 6-2.
6.56 pm: This is how the first game panned out:
6.52 pm: Sindhu wins the first game comfortably 21-16. We’ve hardly seen any really long rallies so far. Sindhu is in total control, dictating play. If it continues like this, the match will be over very soon.
6.48 pm: Sindhu has taken control of the first game, taking a 17-12 lead over Yamaguchi. This is a complete contrast to how the game started. It’s Yamaguchi who looks a bit nervous now, committing errors.
6.44 pm: Yamaguchi takes the narrowest of leads into the first interval. It’s 11-10 to the Japanese. Sindhu has recovered well from the initial stages when she looked quite nervous.
6.40 pm: Sindhu fights back to win five straight points for herself and take the lead at 9-8, but she has a few unforced errors from Yamaguchi to thank.
6.35 pm: Yamaguchi starts off the better of the two shuttlers, taking a 5-0 lead over a nervous-looking Sindhu. Not good early signs for the Indian.
6.30 pm: Sindhu and Okuhara are now on court and going through their warm-up drills. Here is how Sindhu has performed so far at the world championships:
6.25 pm: Carolina Marin wins it in three games and she lets out a huge shriek! She is into her third world championship final and awaits the winner of the second semi-final between PV Sindhu and Akane Yamaguchi, which begins shortly.
6.16 pm: He Bingjiao gets emotional at the change of ends. She won the first game so comfortably and it’s all gone south since then. Understandable why she would feel this way but her coaches would do well to tell her that it’s not over yet.
6.10 pm: Carolina Marin is totally on top of He Bingjiao in the decider, taking a 11-6 lead into the interval. The Chinese needs to pull a rabbit out of the hat to get out of this one.
6 pm: Carolina Marin wins the second game 21-16 against He Bingjiao as the semi-final match goes into a decider. The tumble that the Chinese took early in the second game seems to have taken a toll on her. Marin is super pumped up.
5.48 pm: Carolina Marin takes a 11-6 lead into the interval of the second game. Despite losing the first game pretty badly, the Spaniard is all pumped up and shrieking at every point won. She hasn’t given up yet!
5.40 pm: China’s He Bingjiao has won the first game against Olympic champion 21-13 in the first women’s singles semi-finals. However, the local crowd in Nanjing skipped a few heartbeats as the Chinese took a tumble while retrieving a shuttle and was down for a while. It seemed like she had done her knee but she is now back on her feet and playing.
Good evening and welcome to The Field’s live blog of the badminton world championships semi-final between Olympic silver medallist PV Sindhu and world No 2 Akane Yamaguchi.
Sindhu leads their head-to-head count by a margin of 6-4, but Yamaguchi has got the better of the Indian in prestigious tournaments such as the World Superseries Finals and the All England Open in the last nine months.
While Yamaguchi had beaten Sindhu at the same stage of the All England Open earlier this year, predicting a result for Saturday’s semi-final is next to impossible. Here’s what Sindhu needs to do to get past the diminutive Japanese.