World Champion P V Sindhu kept India’s hopes of winning a first-ever Olympic gold in badminton alive as she reached the semifinals of women’s singles with a fighting straight-game win over world no 5 Japanese Akane Yamaguchi on Friday.
The 26-year-old Indian, who won a silver in the 2016 Rio Olympics, defended brilliantly and rode on her attack to outclass the fourth-seeded Yamaguchi 21-13 22-20 in a 56-minute quarterfinal clash at the Musashino Forest Plaza here.
P V Sindhu will next face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Thailand’s Ratchanok Inthanon and Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying.
The sixth-seeded Indian came into the match with an 11-7 head-to-head count against the Japanese, whom she had last beaten at the All England Championship in March this year.
On Thursday, P V Sindhu had notched up a straight-game triumph over Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, 13th seed, in the pre-quarterfinals.
She was the lone Indian in the fray in badminton after men’s singles player B Sai Praneeth and men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy failed to qualify for the knockout stage.