Living up to her reputation of being a big tournament player, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu dished out a dazzling performance to assure herself of a World Championships medal on Friday. In the process, the Olympic silver medallist gave a perfect birthday gift to her mother Vijaya.
The 22-year-old was at her destructive best as she demolished China's big hope Sun Yu 21-14, 21-9 in just 39 minutes to storm into the medal rounds at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. This would be the third World Championships medal for Sindhu, who bagged a bronze each at the 2013, 2014 editions before losing in the quarterfinals in 2015.
The Indian campaign in the quarterfinals got off to a disastrous start when Kidambi Srikanth went down to Wan Ho Son of Korea 21-14, 21-18. But Sindhu lifted the spirits in Indian camp with a classy display of aggression combined with court craft and guile. It was delightful to watch the lanky lass move with elan and control the pace of the game. Using her long reach, Sindhu was everywhere on the court. She packed a lot of power behind her drives and as her jump smashes hit the lines consistently as she dictated the terms to her rival.
"I am extremely happy with this victory. More happy because it's my mom's birthday today. I didn't take the match easy. Sun Yu is a very good player and I was ready for a tough match. I was well prepared. I went on court knowing well that I needed to give my best and play my game," Sindhu told TOI from Glasgow.
Though Sindhu won in straight games she said that it was not easy against Sun. "I won in straight games but it wasn't easy. Each point was important for me," said Sindhu, adding that she had prepared well after the long 86-minute match on Thursday.
"Normally these long matches happen and I was ready. I recovered well and rested well. Even though it was a long match you tend to get used to it. I have played many long matches in big tournaments," she added. A day after struggling against a lower-ranked Hong Kong girl in the third round, Sindhu was in full flow on Friday. Knowing well that the slow court conditions would suit Sun Yu more, Sindhu was determined not to let the Chinese girl settle down. Sindhu troubled the 1.83m tall Chinese girl with her well-timed crosscourt shots, Sun tried to slow down the pace of the game with deft drops but Sindhu lunged forward and returned with effortless ease.
Earlier, Srikanth's late flourish was not enough against World No.1 Wan Ho Son. Trailing 5-16 in the second game, Srikanth made a splendid comeback but he made a costly error at 14-19.