World No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying beat PV Sindhu 21-18, 21-12 and stormed into the final of the women’s singles badminton at the Tokyo Olympics 2021.
Tai Tzu-ying will meet Chen Yu Fei, the top seed, in the final. Earlier, Chen Yu Fei got the better of He Bingjiao in the first semifinal. The match report in that encounter read 21-16, 13-21, 21-12. Sindhu will now meet He Bingjiao for the bronze medal match.
Tai Tzu-ying enjoyed a 13-5 head-to-head lead over the Indian shuttler in 18 previous encounters. However, in big ticket events, like the Olympics and the World Championships, it was always Sindhu who held the upper hand. The Indian shuttler had gotten the better of her Chinese Taipei opponent every time they met at big events prior to their clash today at the Tokyo Olympics.
PV Sindhu started on a slow note but started using the court well early in the game and forced Tai Tzu-ying to commit unforced errors. She won five points on the trot to build a sizeable lead at 8-4, with the best of it coming from the Indian making use of her reach to play a drop shot after Tai Tzu-ying was caught deep.
Also Read: Why Pullela Gopichand is not coaching PV Sindhu at the 2021 Olympics
The aggression was largely visible in PV Sindhu’s shots. She displayed exemplary drop shot skills but Tai Tzu-ying was not one to be left behind. The World No. 1 started reducing the deficit with a couple of good smashes, which dropped in on PV Sindhu in a flash. It was a display of really delicate net play at the other end from Sindhu.
Tai Tzu-ying restored parity in the first set in no time at 11-11 with a beautiful deceptive flick from the backcourt and from then on it was an evenly matched contest. Tai Tzu-ying’s drives and smashes were spot on with Sindhu’s delicate net play and backhand shots proving to be an effective answer.
The Chinese Taipei player moved ahead from 18-18 with a terrific drop shot, leaving PV Sindhu on the backcourt, and went on to win the first set 21-18 with a thumping smash.
PV Sindhu loses the plot
Needing a win in the second set to stay alive in the semifinals, PV Sindhu started on an aggressive note, forcing Tai Tzu-ying to commit errors by dishing out powerful smashes.
It was tough to separate the duo early in the second set once again. While Tai Tzu-ying sent the shuttle out a couple of times, Sindhu started to read drop shots better and was troubled when Tai Tzu-ying sent a powerful backhand cross court shot.
Sindhu also packed more power into her smashes than what was needed and it accentuated the Indian’s troubles as the Chinese Taipei player opened up a three-point lead at 4-7.
Sindhu went long a couple of more times and it was tough for the Indian to close the four-point advantage with Tai Tzu-ying taking a healthy 11-7 lead at the mid-way break.
Sindhu and Park Tae-Sang went into an animated discussion but it didn’t reap any immediate rewards as Tai Tzu-ying extended her lead.
Sindhu was caught on the wrong foot by not being able to play her lift and attacking shots properly, with the World No. 1 keeping the shuttle way too down for Sindhu’s liking.
Sindhu did execute the drop shot well at 9-16 but unforced errors from the Indian meant she was trailing by eight points at 10-18.
Tai Tzu-ying had eight match point opportunities and converted the first with a cross-court shot for which Sindhu could only be a spectator.
Also read: Park Tae-Sang: All you need to know about PV Sindhu’s animated coach on the sidelines