Sindhu tames Intanon to enter Hong Kong final
Kowloon: Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu produced a comfortable straight-game win over 2013 World Champion Ratchanok Intanon at the $400,000 Hong Kong Super Series to seal a second successive final spot on Saturday.
Last year's finalist, Sindhu moved well and seemed always ready for the shuttle. She dominated the front court, defended well and maintained her attack to outclass the world no. 6 Thai 21-17 21-17 in a 43-minute women's singles match.
It was their sixth meeting and Sindhu was lagging 1-4 in the head-to-head count. The only time the Indian had beaten Intanon was at the 2015 Korea Open when the match went to the decider.
Sindhu, a silver medallist at World Championship, will next face top seed and world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, hoping to emulate Saina Nehwal and Prakash Padukone, who had clinched this title in 2010 and 1982.
Locking horns with Intanon after 18 months, Sindhu showed her prowess as she countered the deceptive strokes of her rival with her better defence, which included superb backhand returns and attacking game plan.
Sindhu jumped to a 6-2 lead early on and continued her march ahead, despite some good-looking strokes from the Thai player. A cross court smash from the Indian left her opponent stranded and allowed Sindhu to grab a 11-7 lead after seven minutes of play. The Thai player went long a few times as Sindhu lead 17-9 It was Sindhu who had a healthy advantage at the mid-game breather.
A brilliant forehand defensive return after the break left a stretched Intanon. The Thai player produced a body line smash and returned on Sindhu backhand to grab two points. But the Indian then unleashed a smash to move to 13-9.