PV Sindhu reaches first final in 14 months at Malaysia Masters - Hindustan Times
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PV Sindhu reaches first final in 14 months at Malaysia Masters

May 25, 2024 10:38 PM IST

Rallies from a game down to beat her Thai opponent in the semis and reach the title round of the Malaysia Masters.

It’s been a long wait. PV Sindhu finally managed to reach a final after 14 months, after overcoming a slow start to win the semi-final at the $420,000 Malaysia Masters in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday.

India's PV Sindhu beat world No.20 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 13-21, 21-16, 21-12 in a marathon match that lasted an hour and 28 minutes.(PTI)
India's PV Sindhu beat world No.20 Busanan Ongbamrungphan 13-21, 21-16, 21-12 in a marathon match that lasted an hour and 28 minutes.(PTI)

It wasn’t a cakewalk for the twice Olympic medallist, although she had beaten her opponent, Thailand's Busanan Ongbamrungphan, in 17 of their 18 meetings. The former world champion struggled but eventually found her rhythm to beat the world No.20 13-21, 21-16, 21-12 in a marathon match that lasted an hour and 28 minutes.

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The Axiata Arena has been quite lucky for India's current world No.15, who won the Super 500 tournament in 2013 and 2016 and will be gunning for a third on Sunday.

Busanan was clearly the better player at the start as she moved well, easily countering Sindhu’s returns and killing any shuttle at the net in the first game.

After not leading the game even once in the first game, fifth seed Sindhu turned the tables on Busanan in the second by just keeping the shuttle in play and not trying dynamic shots.

Having drawn level, the momentum had shifted by the time the third game started as Sindhu raced away to an 8-2 lead. Under pressure, errors started creeping into Busanan’s game. The Thai also looked tired as the clock crossed the hour mark.

Sindhu's screams of exultation started getting louder as she got closer to victory, making her first final since the 2023 Spain Masters loss to Indonesia's Gregoria Mariska Tunjung.

"I am playing her after a very long time. She is playing a very good game. There were really long rallies and both of us didn’t give up till the last minute. I was just keeping the shuttle in court however long the rallies went. Every point was important forboth of us," Sindhu said as she continued to build momentum in the run-up to the Olympics.

“I am moving well and getting that confidence back. These kind of wins give me the confidence to perform.”

In the summit clash, the 28-year-old will take on Chinese second seed Wang Zhi Yi, against whom Sindhu has a 2-1 record. It was the Chinese world No.7 who came out on top the last time they met at the 2023 Arctic Open.

“She is in the top 10. It is not going to be easy. Result is secondary, what matters is how I play against her, how I keep the shuttle in court, the strategy I use. I am sure she must have seen my match. I am happy to be in a final but it is not over yet. There is still a match to go," Sindhu said.

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