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Singapore Open: Sindhu storms into final with win over Kawakami

Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu started the match with intent and raced to a 7-2 lead after peppering her Japanese opponent with some well-placed smashes and deft drop shots.

Singapore: Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu stormed into the women’s singles final at the Singapore Open 2022 after beating Japan’s Saena Kawakami in the semifinal, here on Saturday.

World No 7 Sindhu beat world No 38 Kawakami 21-15, 21-7 in her final four clash, which lasted for 31 minutes. Former world champion will face the winner of the other semifinal between Japan’s Aya Ohori and Chinese shuttler Wang Zhi Yi in Sunday’s final.

It will be the Tokyo bronze medallist’s third summit clash of 2022, having gone on to win both the Syed Modi International and Swiss Open BWF Super 300 titles in January and March, respectively. However, the Singapore meet is a Super 500 tournament.

Two-time Olympic medallist Sindhu started the match with intent and raced to a 7-2 lead after peppering her Japanese opponent with some well-placed smashes and deft drop shots.

However Kawakami, who got a walkover from top seed Tai Tzu Ying in the second round before upsetting Thai ace Pornpawee Chochuwong in the quarters, fought back and drew level at 11-11. Just as it seemed the tide had turned in the Japanese player’s favour, though, the Indian stepped on the pedal to take five of the final six points to pocket the game.

The 27-year old Sindhu took little time to stamp her authority in the second game and took a formidable 11-4 lead into the break. After the restart, she continued to boss the proceedings despite occasional flashy winners from her Japanese opponent. In the end Sindhu pocketed the match comfortably.

This was Sindhu’s third straight win over Saena Kawakami in head-to-head meetings. She is the last remaining Indian badminton player at the Singapore Open.

On Friday, London 2012 bronze medallist Saina Nehwal and HS Prannoy had bowed out in the women’s and men’s singles quarter-finals respectively while the duo of MR Arjun and Dhruv Kapila had also crashed out in the men’s doubles final eight clash.

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