PV Sindhu breezes into World Badminton Championships final
Glasgow: In a day of mixed emotions at the World Badminton Championships, Indian shuttler PV Sindhu forayed into the final, while Saina Nehwal settled for a bronze medal in the women's singles semi-finals here on Saturday.
Fourth seed Sindhu crushed Chinese ninth seed Chen Yufei of China 21-13, 21-10 in 48 minutes in a superlative display to set-up a title clash against Japanese seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara, who defeated Indian 12th seed Saina 12-21, 21-17, 21-10 earlier in the day.
Sindhu, a two-time World Championships bronze medallist, dominated her younger opponent from the beginning, not allowing the reigning world junior champion to settle in.
Playing aggressively, Sindhu rattled 19-year-old Yufei with her barrage of attacking strokes.
In the other semi-final, 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Saina lost against Okuhara as she settled for a bronze medal. Okuhara became the first Japanese to reach the World Championships women's singles final.
Sindhu, 22, and Okuhara, 22, have won three games apiece from six outings between them and in the Japanese, the Hyderabadi faces an opponent that likes to play fast-paced shuttle.
Meanwhile, men's singles defending champion Chen Long of China was ousted by Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. The Danish third seed crushed the 2016 Olympic champion 21-9, 21-10 in 39 minutes.
In the final, Axelsen will face Chinese veteran and five-time world champion Lin Dan, who got past South Korean top seed Son Wan Ho with a 21-17, 21-14 victory in 58 minutes.
Axelsen, who won the bronze in the 2014 worlds and 2016 Rio Olympics, was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency: "I am still a little out of words, I never expected to win that comfortably, I am very happy. I made little mistakes today and made very few errors.
"It was nice to get revenge from the Olympic semi-finals, I am very proud of myself.
"My coach and I always look back at past championships to get better and improve on my game. Denmark is a small country but I am very proud that we can compete with the bigger countries. It's a dream come true, ever since I was a little boy I dreamed of a World Championships final."
Chen, 28, said he was under too much pressure. "I got the first points, then lost a lot of the next, and that really affected my game. In the second I managed to go ahead and that put a lot of pressure on me, but Victor played very well.
"Congratulations to Victor to getting to the final, he played the perfect game," he added.