Sindhu one step away from bronze three-peat after stunning Li | othersports | Hindustan Times
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Sindhu one step away from bronze three-peat after stunning Li

PV Sindhu caused the first major upset at the badminton world championships when the 20-year-old stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China 21-17 14-21 21-17 in a pulsating women's singles third round encounter on Thursday.

othersports Updated: Aug 14, 2015 09:03 IST
PV Sindhu
India's PV Sindhu celebrates winning a point against China's Li Xuerui during their women's singles match at the BWF World Badminton Championships in Jakarta, Indonesia, on August 13, 2015. (AP Photo)

PV Sindhu caused the first major upset at the badminton World Championships when the 20-year-old stunned Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China 21-17 14-21 21-17 in a pulsating women's singles third round encounter on Thursday.

Sindhu often saves her best for this tournament and will be looking to improve on her two previous bronze medal performances if she can maintain the form that saw her storm to victory past the third seed in 50 minutes of action in Jakarta.

There was also the hint of another upset in same half of the draw when top seed and defending champion Carolina Marin dropped the second game of her match against Taiwan's Pai Yu-po but the injury-prone Spaniard dug deep to advance 21-11 18-21 21-17.

On a good day for India in the women's singles, second seed Saina Nehwal overcame a sluggish start against Japanese southpaw Sayaka Takahashi to book her place in the last eight with a gutsy 21-18 21-14 victory over her fast-starting opponent.

Nehwal looked completely out of sorts in the opening exchanges as she struggled with the drift inside the Istora Senayan arena but the former number one knuckled down to rally for victory after trailing 11-3 at the first mid-game interval.

In the men's draw, top seed and defending champion Chen Long put on a fine display of attacking badminton and supreme court coverage with a 21-17 21-18 victory over unseeded Thai Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk to book his place in the quarter-finals.

Men's number four seed Kento Momota of Japan also advanced with a straightforward 21-15 21-16 win over Vietnam's Nguyen Tien Minh.

Sindhu, seeded 11th, has had an injury-interrupted season but will fancy her chances of another upset against South Korea's Sung Ji-hyun to set up a possible semi-final showdown against Marin, who rolled her ankle in her match against Pai.

"I just tried to not think about my ankle, because I was so scared, because maybe I could not play," she told reporters of the incident that halted the first game for several minutes.

"I have a physiotherapist here, so he is going to treat me now."

Long-time rivals Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia and five-time world champion Lin Dan of China are in third round action later on Thursday with the pair on a collision course for a mouth-watering semi-final showdown.