Hyderabad: World champion PV Sindhu took a giant stride in her quest for a second medal in the Olympics. The 26-year-old Rio Games silver medallist decimated Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt 21-15, 21-13 to storm into the women’s singles quarterfinals of the Tokyo Games on Thursday.
In a no-nonsense game, Sindhu dazzled with a repertoire of strokes in a 40-minute display that spoke of her hunger to excel in this Olympics. Bristling with confidence, Sindhu went about her business in setting up the big quarterfinal clash against Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi. She was fast, agile and athletic in a game that put Sindhu in the right frame of mind before the quarterfinal clash.
Mia did trouble Sindhu as she caught the Indian napping with some well-placed shots. Although she was beaten on the left court, Sindhu tightened her defence to assert her supremacy in the game.
“I started off well in the first game but around 15-16 I gave a couple of points because I was rushing in my defence. My coach was telling me that I was playing the wrong way and I realised that and I immediately changed my tactics and completed the first game,” said Sindhu.
Former National coach Bhaskar Babu said Sindhu was quick at the net and forced Mia to make unforced errors. “There was a lot of variation in her strokes and was very good with the sliced cross court drops. Apart from being agile and aggressive on the court, she played some beautiful strokes to garner important points in the crucial stages of the game. At times, she was in discomfort at the backhand of the court. But in the end, she realized her mistakes and flourished as the game progressed,’’ he said.
Full of energy, the ruthless Sindhu climbed to a 6-2 lead at the start and she sat pretty at 11-6 lead. However, in a change of strategy, Mia attacked Sindhu on her left of the court. The Indian failed to read Mia’s game for a momentary lapse of concentration and the Dane narrowed the gap.
From 9-13, Mia soon made it 11-13. A shell-shocked Sindhu wrested the initiative by playing a nice delectable net shot and went ahead at 16-12. But Mia stole two more points and it was 15-16. A pumped-up Sindhu, who was made to work for her points, got back into her groove. A fine net drop shot and she was back in her elements to close the game. She reeled off five successive points to win the first game,Continuing with her attacking game, Sindhu raced off to a 6-0 lead. Although Mia managed to garner some points, Sindhu was on top.
“She was very fast in the second game. With sliced round the head cross court drop shots and forehand touch strokes, Sindhu was on a song and Mia’s game collapsed,” he said.
In the end, Sindhu charmed her way into the quarterfinals.
Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.