Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu entered the quarterfinals of the women’s singles event at the ongoing Rio Olympics after a win over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-Ying in straight games on August 16.
The two-time World Championship bronze medallist dominated right from the start to defeat the World No. 8 Tai in straight sets 21-13 21-15 within 40 minutes in the pre-quarterfinal clash at Court 2 of the Riocentro Pavilion 4 in Rio.
Before Monday’s match, Tzu-Ying enjoyed a 4-2 advantage in head-to-head encounters against Sindhu. But the 21-year-old from Hyderabad was in superb form and dominated her opponent throughout the match.
But Sindhu is expected to face a much tougher challenge in the last eight stage, as she will now face World No. 2 Wang Yihan of China.
The opening game witnessed long rallies with Sindhu forcing the early advantage thanks to her powerful smashes and unforced errors by Tzu-ying.
Tzu-ying gave Sindhu a tough competition in the early stages, despite conceding the lead on several occasions. The Taiwanese drew level every time before the Indian forced a 11-6 lead by the mid-game break.
The shuttler from Taiwan continued the fight with her deceptive drop shots and cross-court smashes causing problems for Sindhu.
The Indian also seemed to lose her rhythm a bit after the break as Tzu-ying reduced her lead to 12-10. But with a quick recovery, Sindhu was able to bolster her lead to 19-13. This, along with a couple of unforced errors at the hands of her opponent, handed her the first game.
Sindhu forced the early advantage in the second game as well with Tzu-ying fighting back hard. Tzu-ying was troubled in the second game which saw her conceded a couple of unforced which allowed Sindhu to take a 6-3 lead.
To her credit, the Taiwan shuttler took three points on the trot to draw level, but a powerful forehand smash by Sindhu and more unforced errors by Tzu-ying enabled the Hyderabad girl to score five consecutive points and open a 11-6 lead at the break.
Sindhu kept up the pressure after the break with four back-to-back points increasing her lead to 15-7. Tzu-ying rallied to reduce the Indian’s lead to 15-11 before committing two unforced errors to lose the momentum.
With Sindhu serving for the match at 20-12, Tzu-ying managed to save three match points and pull back to 20-15. But Sindhu did have to wait long to celebrate as another unforced error by Tzu-ying handed her the game and the match.
On August 15, K Srikanth also reached the men’s singles quarterfinals after defeating World No. 5 Jan Jorgensen of Denmark in straight sets.