Malaysia Masters: Sindhu downs top seed Han, through to semis

Sindhu, seeded fifth, got the better of Han in a revenge match. File photo: PTI/Gurinder Osan

Kuala Lumpur: 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 Badminton Asia Championships in Ningbo last month.

Sindhu, a former world champion, will now square off against 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.  Chaliha ahd upset third seed Beiwen Zhang of USA in the pre-quarterfinals.

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 a  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.

Keralite Kiran George had gone down fighting 13-21, 18-21 to fifth seed Lee Zii Jia in a men's singles second-round match on Thursday. Commonwealth Games bronze medallists Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand, seeded seventh, also lost 18-21, 22-20, 14-21 to the Korean pair of Sung Shuo Yun and Yu Chien Hui.

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