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Sindhu stuns Olympic champion

Sindhu stuns Olympic champion
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The Indian badminton player P V Sindhu recorded the biggest win of her career Friday when she stunned London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China to enter the women's singles semifinals at the China Masters Superseries badminton event here on Friday.

Ajay Jayaram made the men's singles semifinals after beating compatriot Sourabh Varma 12-21, 21-14, 21-16 at the Olympics Sports Center Xincheng Gymnasium here.

Sindhu, seen as another emerging world-class player after Saina Nehwal, held her nerve for a 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 win over the World No. 2, who is also the reigning All England champion. She will have to beat another Chinese, Jiang Yanjiao, for a place in the final.

The 45-minute battle was an absorbing one with both players making a slew of unforced errors while going for their shots. The aggression though worked better for Sindhu, who came up with 26 smash winners to Xuerui's 20. She also conjured up nine net winners, one more than the Chinese.

A win seemed distant for the 17-year-old Indian when Xuerui, 21, ran through the second game to level the contest. But Sindhu showed remarkable grit and courage in the decider for a memorable win.

Sindhu ran to hug her coach Pullela Gopichand after Xuerui netted a back hand on the first match-point. The Hyderabadi defeated an opponent, who has been the best player of the year, winning four titles besides the Olympic gold at London.

Meanwhile, Jayaram is the sole Indian left in the men's event following R M V Gurusaidutt's 8-21, 12-21 loss to the top seed Chen Long of China in the quarterfinals.


SINDHU STUNS OLYMPIC GOLD MEDALLIST

Rising Indian shuttler P V Sindhu pulled off the biggest upset of her career when she stunned London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China to storm into the women's singles semifinals of the Li Ning China Masters Super Series badminton tournament here on Friday.

World number 24 Sindhu, who is the lone Indian woman in the fray in the absence of star compatriot Saina Nehwal, won 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 in a tense 45-minute contest against the second seeded and world number three Chinese.

Sindhu, who has earned the reputation of a giant-killer, turned out to be more aggressive than her fancied opponent as she went on to hit as many as 26 smash winners as opposed to 20 by the Chinese. The net game was a close affair as the Indian had nine points to the Chinese's eight.

This was Sindhu's biggest win in her career.

Sindhu came into the match high on confidence, having got the better of world number 14 and eighth seed Porntip Buranaprasertsuk of Thailand in the pre-quarterfinals of the tournament.

The 17-year-old Indian will now take on the winner of the match between Busanan Ongbumrungpan of Thailand and fourth seeded Yanjiao Jiang of China in the last four stage.

The young Indian straightaway opened a 3-0 lead and then made it 6-1 in the opening game before the Chinese reduced the gap to 6-7. Sidhu continued to maintain the lead but Xuerui used all her experience to make it 18-19.

It looked like Sindhu would wither under intense pressure from the vastly experience opponent, but the Indian admirably held on to her nerves to take the first game 21-19.
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