Indian badminton player PV Sindhu sealed her place in the BWF World Tour Finals 2021 women’s singles semi-finals after beating Germany’s Yvonne Li 21-10 , 21-13 in her second Group A match in Bali, Indonesia on Thursday.
The victory, alongside her opening win over Denmark’s Line Christophersen, ensures PV Sindhu will finish in the top two of her group alongside Thai top seed Pornpawee Chochuwong. Sindhu and Chochuwong will face off on Friday to determine who leads the group.
At the BWF World Tour Finals 2021, the participating players (in men’s and women’s singles) and doubles teams (in men’s, women’s and mixed doubles) are divided into two groups of four each in every category. The top two from each group make the semi-finals.
Up against Yvonne Li, whom the Indian shuttler beat in straight games in the second round of the Indonesia Open last week, PV Sindhu made a blistering start and raced to an 11-5 lead in quick time.
PV Sindhu, the reigning women’s world champion and two-time Olympic medallist, looked in the groove and showcased her wide range of shots to shut out Li 21-10 in the first game.
The German tried her best to mount a comeback in the second game but PV Sindhu, who won the BWF World Tour Finals in 2018, didn’t allow her any openings, closing out the match in straight games in 31 minutes.
Kidambi Srikanth loses in men’s singles
Meanwhile in men’s singles, India’s Kidambi Srikanth lost 21-18, 21-7 against Thailand’s Kunlavut Vitidsarn, a former three-time junior world champion, in his second Group B encounter.
The loss leaves Srikanth with one win from two matches in his group, making his Friday’s encounter against Malaysian ace Lee Zii Jia, the world No. 8, a must-win match for the Indian to keep his semis hopes alive.
In Group A of men’s singles, Indian youngster Lakshya Sen has already qualified for the knockouts after world No. 1 Kento Momota of Japan and Denmark’s Rasmus Gemke withdrew from the tournament following injuries.
There was a withdrawal from the Indian camp as well as men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy pulled out of the tournament after Satwik’s knee injury flared up during their loss to Danish pair Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the Group A opener.
The Indian pair decided it was best to rest up with the BWF World Championships set to begin next week. The duo was scheduled to face Indonesian team of Marcus Fernaldi Gideon and Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo on Thursday but decided to give a walkover.
In women’s doubles, India’s Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy were also eliminated after losing their second Group B match 21-19, 22-20 against Bulgarian sisters Gabriela and Stefani Stoeva.