PV Sindhu during her semifinal match against Saena Kawakami. (Photo by Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE: Indian shuttler PV Sindhu stormed into the Singapore Open title clash with a commanding win over lower-ranked Japanese Saena Kawakami in the women’s singles semifinal, here on Saturday.
Sindhu, a double Olympic medallist, who had claimed two Super 300 titles at Syed Modi International and Swiss Open this year, prevailed 21-15 21-7 in 32-minute semifinal clash.
She is now one win away from her maiden Super 500 title of the 2022 season.
Sindhu came into the match with a 2-0 head-to-head record, having played her last at the 2018 China Open.
The former world champion looked in complete command against world number 38 Kawakami, who just couldn’t control the shuttle and was buried in a heap of errors during the lop-sided match.
Sindhu summoned her whipping smashes early on but the drift in the hall made decision making difficult and also sometimes precision was lacking but the power in her strokeplay helped the Indian moved to a healthy three-point lead at the break.
The 24-year-old Japanese, however, started putting the shuttle in from difficult positions to draw parity. The match came alive with both fighting for each point.
Sindhu also won two video referrals, punished a weak high lift and also made good calls at the baseline to move to 18-14. A power-packed smash and then two unforced errors by Kawakami helped Sindhu seal the opening game comfortably.
Kawakami’s struggles continued in the second game as she failed to control the shuttle and conceded a 0-5 early lead to her fancied rival.
Sindhu just had to keep engaging her rival in the rallies and patiently waited for mistakes from the Japanese.
A frustrated Kawakami just could wryly smile as Sindhu first grabbed a 11-4 lead at the mid-game interval and then zoomed to 17-5 in a jiffy.
The Japanese had no answer to Sindhu’s forehand attacking returns and backhand flicks as the Indian moved to 19-6.
Sindhu sent one long but next unleashed a whipping smash from the baseline which her opponent could only sent to the net. With Kawakami sending the shuttle out again, Sindhu fist pumped to announce her entry into the finals.

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