Nozomi Okuhara awaits PV Sindhu in the final now.
2.45 pm: That’s it from us today with the badminton. If you missed Sindhu and/or Sameer’s matches, here is our match report. We will be back on Sunday for Sindhu’s final against Nozomi Okuhara, whihc promises to be a cracker. Soon!
2.28 pm: There is now a break for about an hour before the evening session. Shi Yuqi will learn who he will take on in Sunday’s final as Kento Momota clashes with Son Wan Ho in the other men’s singles semi-final.
2.25 pm: That’s how much it meant to him:
2.20 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 17-21 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi grabs six match points for himself. Verma saves three of them but can’t go further. Shi wins the match after 68 minutes of spectacular, high-intensity badminton to enter the final.
2.13 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 10-16 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi is now racing away with this match. He has opened up a big lead and it’s now going to be quite difficult for Verma to catch up.
2.10 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 9-13 Shi Yuqi
Brilliant stuff from Shi Yuqi as he wins a couple of fantastic rallies. He is in top gear now and Sameer needs to keep up with him.
2.08 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 9-11 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi takes a two-point lead into the interval of the deciding game. This is gripping stuff! We’re in for an exciting finish!
2.06 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 9-9 Shi Yuqi
From 6-9 down, Sameer fights back to level the scores. Fantastic defence!
2.02 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 5-7 Shi Yuqi
Sameer Verma has called for a doctor. Looks like something to do with the middle finger of his playing hand. He gets it taped.
2.01 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 4-7 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi goes on the attack and keeps a healthy lead over Sameer in the decider.
1.57 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 0-4 Shi Yuqi
Sameer Verma, perhaps still in shock after how that second game ended, has conceded an early lead to Shi Yuqi in the decider. He needs to compose himself.
1.55 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-22 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi gets a game point, but Sameer protests to the umpire saying the Chinese’s racquet touched the net. The umpire disagrees. Shi goes on to win the game and force a decider. Wow! What drama! It’s one game all.
1.53 pm: Sameer 21-12, 20-20 Shi Yuqi
Sameer grabs a match point but Shi Yuqi saves it with a great jump smash down the line.
1.51 pm: Sameer 21-12, 19-19 Shi Yuqi
A big mistake at the net by Sameer, which hands Shi Yuqi a 19-17 lead in the second game. But then the Chinese commits an error himself and we are back level!
1.47 pm: Sameer 21-12, 16-16 Shi Yuqi
Incredible, incredible rally, and it’s Shi Yuqi who wins it. But Sameer tried his level best and his defence was just top notch. What a match this is!
1.45 pm: Sameer 21-12, 15-15 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi fights back to level the scores and it looks like we’re headed for a very tight finish.
1.39 pm: Sameer 21-12, 11-9 Shi Yuqi
From 4-8 down, Sameer Verma wins seven of the next eight points to take a 11-9 lead into the interval. He is pumped up and determined to finish this match in two games! How will Shi Yuqi respond?
1.36 pm: Sameer 21-12, 8-8 Shi Yuqi
Sameer wins a couple of good rallies and mixes his game up well to draw level at 8-8. This is turning out to be a great match!
1.32 pm: Sameer 21-12, 3-7 Shi Yuqi
Shi Yuqi starts off well in the second game, continuing with his attacking game. He’s built a decent lead for himself.
1.29 pm: Sameer 21-12 Shi Yuqi
Sameer Verma grabs eight game points against Shi Yuqi and needs only one of them. He wins the first game 21-12! Wow! Who would’ve have expected that?
1.25 pm: Sameer Verma continues to impress, stretching his lead to 15-11 in the first game. He’s caught Shi Yuqi off guard with his attacking, it would appear.
1.21 pm: Sameer Verma’s defence is strong as usual but he isn’t afraid to attack Shi Yuqi when he sees an opportunity. He’s doing quite well so far, leading 11-10 at the break in the first game.
1.15 pm: It’s been a great start to the match, with some good rallies exchanged between the two players already. Score is tied 6-6 right now.
1.07 pm: The two players are on court and we are moments away from the beginning of the match.
1.05 pm: Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong win 19-21, 21-14, 21-12 to enter the final, which means it’s finally time for Sameer Verma’s match against Shi Yuqi.
12.45 pm: Meanwhile, normal service seems to have resumed in the mixed doubles match. Huang and Siwei have won the second game comfortably 21-14 to take the match into a decider. Sameer Verma and Shi Yuqi will have to wait a bit longer to come on court.
12.40 pm: Sindhu has beaten some top players on her way to the final, where she will face another biggie...well, in quality for sure, if not stature.
12.30 pm: These two players must have a lot to say after such a great semi-final:
12.25 pm: The first game of the mixed doubles match that separates Sindhu and Sameer Verma’s matches just got over. And it’s quite a shocker: World champions Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong, who have been in spectacular form this year, have lost the first game 19-21 to Thailand’s Dechapol Puavaranukroh and Sapsiree Taerattanachai. Do we have an upset on the cards?
12.19 pm: Sindhu, interestingly, is yet to win a title on the tour in 2018. Can she finish 2018 on a high?
12.15 pm: In case you missed the Sindhu match, here’s how the fascinating battle went down. Report.
12.08 pm: What a fantastic semifinal that was though. Intanon, not at her best, gave it her all and Sindhu had to repeatedly fightback to stay in rallies. Just look how tight that second game was...
Jaideep Vaidya: What a terrific end to the match! Sindhu will be glad she was able to come through in straight games considering an in-form Okuhara awaits in the final. Intanon just looked tired towards the end but gave a great fight
12.00 pm: Stay tuned for the match report. And also don’t go anywhere, after this mixed doubles semifinal, Sameer Verma will take on Shi Yuqi
11.55 am: That’s a fantastic finish for Sindhu. She showed the tenacity to hang on under pressure and wins one of the best rally in the game with a net tap to win the match 21-16, 25-23.
Ladies and gentlemen, we have another major tournament final between Sindhu and Okuhara!
Sindhu 21-16, 25-23 Intanon
SINDHU WINS IT! AN EPIC RALLY TO END AN EPIC SECOND GAME!
Sindhu 21-16, 24-23 Intanon
Third game point comes and goes for Intanon. Crosscourt flick goes wide. And now second match point for Sindhu!
Sindhu 21-16, 22-22 Intanon
Brilliant from Sindhu! Match point after a tremendous rally where she was on the back foot for the most part. And Intanon saves the match point. Nerve-wracking stuff at the moment.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 21-21 Intanon
Delightful from Sindhu! A backhand drop at the net. Two game points saved.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 20-20 Intanon
Sindhu saves a game point with an emphatic crosscourt overhead!
Abhijeet Kulkarni: It’s been a tactical slug-fest so far between Sindhu and Intanon. The Thai is banking on superior quality of her strokes to put pressure on Sindhu and then going for the kill. But Sindhu has managed to keep pace so far. 19-19 now
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 19-19 Intanon
A lucky net chord for Intanon after going defensive work by Sindhu and we are still level at 19-19.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 18-18 Intanon
PV Sindhu’s lift goes wrong after a brilliant drop from Intanon, who finishes off with a smash. Back level in this second game!
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 18-16 Intanon
Wow, and then Intanon misses a golden chance to go two ahead with a poor miss. Smash goes wide with the point there for the taking. She can’t quite believe it. And then two errors from the Thai after that and Sindhu has a lead again. The match turned there quickly!
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 15-15 Intanon
Loudest “Come on!” yet from PV Sindhu as she retakes a two-point lead. That’s followed by a couple of poor rallies from Sindhu, and we are back level.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 14-11 Intanon
Four points on the trot after the break for Sindhu, including a lovely overhead down-the-line.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: Intanon fights back from a 0-4, 7-10 deficit to take 11-10 lead in the second game. The Thai began attacking Sindhu’s body a lot more and was more comfortable tossing the shuttle up than in the first game
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 10-11 Intanon
Never count Intanon out! From trailing 0-4, the Thai shuttler takes a 11-10 lead into the break. Superb fightback. Not much Sindhu could do to counter her aggression in that phase.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 10-9 Intanon
WHAT A RALLY! Both players mixing defense with attack and it takes a brilliant down-the-line from Intanon to win the point. Great badminton. 29 shots, longest of the match.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 7-7 Intanon
Intanon’s aggression is paying off at the moment. A powerful smash lands on the other side after hitting the net chord. Another powerful shot at Sindhu’s body, makes it 7-7! A rare yell on court from the Thai shuttler.
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 6-3 Intanon
Intanon is turning on her aggression now. Going for a series of body smashes, it’d seem. Fights back in the second game to make it 3-5. But Sindhu steps up and sends down a booming smash to make it 6-3!
Second game, Sindhu 21-16, 4-0 Intanon
Wow, in the blink of an eye Sindhu has a four point lead in the second game.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: In Guangzhou, Sindhu has been exceptional in using her height to intercept flat pushes and lifts to play quick half smashes and she does that again against Ratchanok quite well to take the opening game 21-16
First game, Sindhu 21-16 Intanon
First game, PV Sindhu! Error from Intanon. Four game points for Sindhu. She needs just one to draw the first blood. Intanon has blown hot and cold, Sindhu has been the more consistent of the two and it showed.
First game, Sindhu 19-15 Intanon
Wonderful overhead crosscourt flick by Sindhu and she’s inching ahead again. Completely wrong footed the Thai there. Exchange of serves follow and Sindhu takes a 4-point lead with a powerful down the line smash.
First game, Sindhu 15-13 Intanon
A brilliant rally that Intanon mostly dominated ends with a wild forehand from the Thai shuttler! Sindhu rewarded for her patience. Longest rally of the match so far.
First game, Sindhu 12-12 Intanon
Intanon plays a delightful angle at the net and a service error from Sindhu makes it all square once again.
First game, Sindhu 11-9 Intanon
PV Sindhu has the lead at the mid-game interval. Both players have had a mixed start by Sindhu ahead thanks to fewer errors. Time for some advice from Gopichand.
It’s been a mixed bag show from Sindhu so far. Intanon is looking to push her to the back court to nullify the court conditions and the Indian has been guilty of trying to hurry a bit to find a winner. 11-9 in her favour still
First game, Sindhu 10-7 Intanon
Sindhu started well, but every time she has pulled ahead by a point or two Intanon comes back. Wayward in that phase from Sindhu as it become 7-7. Sindhu once again puts a run together to take a 10-7 lead.
First game, Sindhu 7-5 Intanon
Sindhu gets her nose in the front again. Good start from the Indian shuttler.
Abhijeet Kulkarni: The side from which Sindhu started the match seems to be a better side to attack, at least that is how it looked in the earlier mixed doubles semifinal. The Indian would be keen to exploit that advantage if any to draw first blood.
First game, Sindhu 4-4 Intanon
Long rally ends with a judgement error from Sindhu. Intanon follows that up with a lovely drop. Back level.
First game, Sindhu 4-2 Intanon
Two sharp rallies to get us going, players exchange serves. Error from Sindhu gives Intanon the serve back and then Sindhu wins three points in a row to take a 4-2 lead.
10.59 am: Here we go! The match is underway.
10.56 am: PV Sindhu. Ratchanok Intanon. A spot awaits in the final against Nozomi Okuhara. The players are out on the court. Can PV Sindhu finish 2018 on a high?
Intanon leads the head-to-head against Sindhu (4-3) but Sindhu won the last meeting between the two in Indian Open earlier this year. Sindhu has won the last two encounters between the two and the only one this year. But more importantly she has looked on song in Guangzhou and if she can maintain that stroke quality then she would be difficult to beat.
10.50 am: Next match is Sindhu’s. Almost time.
Nozomi Okuhara awaits the winner of this semi-final in the title clash. Tai Tzu Ying withdrew retired hurt on Friday.
10:45 am: Hello all and welcome to The Field’s live blog for the Badminton World Tour semifinal between PV Sindhu and Ratchanok Intanon (followed by Shi Yuqi vs Sameer Verma just a while later).
Sindhu pulled off a shock at the badminton World Tour Finals on Thursday as she fought back to defeat top-ranked Tai Tzu-ying for the first time in over two years. Sindhu sank to her knees at the end of an exhausting 14-21, 21-16, 21-18 victory over the Taiwanese in 62 enthralling minutes in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.
The 23-year-old, a silver medallist at the Rio Olympics in 2016, then defeated Beiwen Zhang to make it three wins out of three in Group A of the $1.5 million end-of-year showpiece to seal her place in the last four.
Sindhu is looking for her first title in 2018, and with Tai Tzu Ying retiring hurt ahead of the semis, she has a real chance in the season-ending event.
Later, Sameer takes on All England champion for a shot at reaching the final in what has been a memorable year for him.