Badminton Asia Championships: PV Sindhu reaches semi-finals after win over He Bing Jiao

PV Sindhu will face the reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan for a place in the final. Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy knocked out.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala
Picture by GETTY IMAGES

Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu assured herself of at least a bronze medal at the Badminton Asia Championships 2022 with a win over China’s He Bing Jiao in the women’s singles quarter-finals in Manila, the Philippines on Friday.

Playing at the Muntinlupa Sports Complex, PV Sindhu, a former world champion, defeated the two-time worlds bronze medallist He Bing Jiao 21-9, 13-21, 21-19 to reach the semi-finals.

PV Sindhu, world No. 7, settled quickly into the match and raced to an 11-2 lead at the first break in the opening game. He Bing Jiao, on the other hand, made a series of unforced errors as PV Sindhu wrapped up the first game convincingly.

The second game saw the world No. 9 He Bing Jiao tighten her defence and come back strongly after the scores were tied at 10-all. The Chinese shuttler won 11 of the next 14 points to stretch the match into the decider.

The two-time Olympic medallist used her experience well and took six straight points early in the third game. However, PV Sindhu conceded five points on the trot before confusion over scores halted the game.

He Bing Jiao continued to mount attacks after the short break and even struck three straight points despite trailing 20-16. PV Sindhu, however, kept her composure to take advantage of an early lead and book a spot in the semi-finals.

While PV Sindhu came into the match trailing 7-9 in head-to-head encounters, it was world No. 7 PV Sindhu’s third straight win over her Chinese rival. The last time the duo played each other was at the Tokyo Olympics bronze medal match which PV Sindhu won in straight games.

PV Sindhu will now face reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi of Japan for a place in Sunday’s final.

Later in the day, India’s top men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, seeded third, lost to fifth-seeded Aaron Chia and Massoh Wooi Yik of Malaysia 21-12, 14-21, 16-21 in 53 minutes in their quarter-finals.

Top Indian badminton players Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and Lakshya Sen were knocked out in the earlier rounds.

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