Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu progressed to the semifinals of women’s singles but it was curtains for Sameer Verma in men’s singles event at the USD 600,000 Korea Open Super Series, here today. Sindhu, who had won the silver at the World Championship last month, recovered from a mid-game slump to stave off the challenge from World No. 19 Minatsu Mitani of Japan 21-19 16- 21 21-10 in a match that lasted 63 minutes.
The fifth seeded Indian, who had a 1-1 head-to-head record against the Japanese, will next face either third seed Sung Ji Hyun or China’s He Bingjiao, seeded sixth at the SK Handball Stadium here. A little more than five months ago, Sameer had defeated Son Wan in the opening round at India Super Series in March but since then the Korean has climbed to the top of world ranking.
Early this morning, Sameer once again tried to get across the Korean but top seed Son Wan dished out a gritty performance to beat the Indian 20-22 21-10 21-13 in an hour and nine minute duel. In the women’s singles, Sindhu eked out a 6-2 lead early on in the opening game but Mitani managed to claw back and turn the tables around, reaching 11-9 at the break. After a close battle till 16-16, Sindhu jumped to 19-16.
Mitani then erased the deficit but Sindhu ensured she had the bragging rights after the first game as she sealed it quickly. In the second game, Mitani opened up a 8-4 lead but Sindhu surpassed her soon and was leading 12-9. But the Japanese once again clawed back at 13-13 and then moved away from the Indian to roar back into the contest.
In the decider, Sindhu showed her class as she didn’t give any chance to Mitani to make any recovery after zooming to a 9-2 lead. She was 11-6 at the break, which she extended to 19-9 after the interval, before slamming the door on the Japanese.