PV Sindhu said the hope that anything could happen in a big game helped her keep going as she staged a stunning come-from-behind victory over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying in the quarterfinals at BWF World Championships in Basel on Friday.
After assuring her fifth medal at the Worlds, Sindhu inched closer to an elusive gold after winning back-to-back silver medals in the last two editions of the prestigious tournament. She edged past the Asian Games gold medallist Tai Tzu Ying 12-21 23-21 21-19 in a pulsating contest that lasted 71 minutes.
Sindhu showed tremendous grit after being blown away in the opening game by her nemesis, who enjoyed an upper hand (10-4) from the previous 14 career meetings. The Indian, who had snapped a six-match losing streak against Tai Tzu Ying with a win at the World Tour Finals in December, has now made it two wins a row against the former world No 1.
“I gave her a huge lead at the start of the first game, I wanted to cover up but she maintained her advantage,” Sindhu said after the match. “In the second game, it was very equal. It was anybody’s game. I kept fighting, didn’t lose my confidence.”
“Third game was the same, she was leading but I still had hope that anything can happen at a given moment, that kept me going. At 18-18, we had to be very patient, there were really long rallies. Very good match, happy about the win,” she added.
Sindhu said that staying positive mentally was the key to her success.
“I have played with Tai Tzu, [Nozomi] Okuhara a lot of times, so we all know each other’s games. Mistakes do happen in these matches, but one has to be positive all the time. That’s what I did today,” she said.
“Winning these kind of matches, it’s always good confidence to go to the next level. I have to prepare well and come back stronger for the semi-final.”
The match did not start all that well for Sindhu with the Taiwanese shuttler’s deception proving to be too good to read.
“I was prepared, I know that she is a deceptive player. Few of my strokes were going to the mid-court, that’s why she was playing so well I felt. In the second game, I finished my challenges and in crucial moments I could have reviewed! Two-three times I felt really bad that I could not challenge. But glad I still fought back,” she said.
With this win Sindhu has now equalled the tally of Zhang Ning for the most number of Worlds medals by a female shuttler, and something about the tournament seems to bring the best out of her.
“Hopefully, I take it as a sign and touch-wood it continues,” she said with a smile.
The 24-year-old Indian, an Olympic silver medallist, will take on the winner of the match between China’s Chen Yu Fei and Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt on Saturday.