Sindhu enters semifinals of Malaysia Masters, Ashmita loses

Kuala Lumpur, May 24 (PTI) Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu took a giant stride towards securing a title at the Malaysia Masters after progressing to the semifinals with a hard-fought win over top seed Han Yue of China here on Friday.

World No. 15 Sindhu recovered from a mid-game slump to outwit Han, ranked sixth, 21-13 14-21 21-12 in a 55-minute quarterfinal battle to avenge her loss to the Chinese in their last meeting at the Asia badminton Championships in Ningbo last month.

Sindhu, a former world champion, will now square off against either Indonesia’s Putri Kusuma Wardani or Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in the last four stage.

In other results, Ashmita Chaliha’s fine run ended in the quarterfinals with a 10-21 15-21 loss to sixth seed Zhang Yi Man of China.

Sindhu, who last won the Singapore Open in 2022, gave a good account of herself during the 55-minute match as she broke off from 3-3 in the opening game to take a 11-5 cushion at the break.

The Chinese slowly made her way to 13-16 but Sindhu reeled off the remaining five straight points to take the opening game.

Stung by the reversal, Han zoomed to a 5-0 lead after the change of sides. She continued to dominate the proceedings as Sindhu struggled. The result was she jumped to a massive 15-2 advantage and despite some fightback from the Indian, Han comfortably took the match to the decider.

Sindhu gathered her wits in the third game to open up a massive 11-3 lead at the break, which proved decisive as Han just couldn’t bridge the gap.

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