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Singapore Open: PV Sindhu reaches final

PV Sindhu in action at the Singapore Open Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images

PV Sindhu stormed into the Singapore Open final with a commanding win over lower-ranked Japanese Saena Kawakami in the women's singles semi-final on Saturday.

Sindhu, who had claimed two Super 300 titles at Syed Modi International and Swiss Open this year, prevailed 21-15 21-7 in 32-minute clash. She is now one win away from her maiden Super 500 title of the 2022 season and will play the winner of Aya Ohori and Wang Zhi Yi for the title.

Sindhu came into the match with a 2-0 head-to-head record, having played her last at the 2018 China Open. The former world champion looked in complete command against world No 38, who just couldn't control the shuttle during the lop-sided second game of the match.

Sindhu summoned her whipping smashes early on but the drift in the hall made decision-making difficult but the power in her strokeplay helped the Indian moved to a healthy three-point lead at the break. The 24-year-old Japanese, however, started putting the shuttle in from difficult positions to draw level. The match came alive with both fighting for each point.

Sindhu also won two video referrals, punished a weak high lift and also made good calls at the baseline to move to 18-14. A powerpacked smash and then two unforced errors by Kawakami helped Sindhu seal the opening game comfortably.

Kawakami's struggles continued in the second game as she conceded a 0-5 early lead. Sindhu just had to keep engaging her rival in the rallies and patiently waited for mistakes from the Japanse. A frustrated Kawakami just could wryly smile as Sindhu first grabbed a 11-4 lead at the mid-game interval and then zoomed to 17-5 lead.

The Japanese had no answer to Sindhu's forehand attacking returns and backhand flicks as the Indian moved to 19-6. Sindhu sent one long but next unleashed a whipping smash from the baseline which her opponent could only sent to the net. With Kawakami sending the shuttle out again, Sindhu fist pumped to announce her entry into the finals.