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Tokyo Olympics 2020: PV Sindhu to face Akane Yamaguchi in quarterfinals

PV Sindhu stormed into the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics with a straight game victory against Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark 21-15, 21-13. The Rio Olympics silver medallist is just two wins away from winning her second medal at the Games, a feat not achieved any of the Indian woman so far.

Sinidhu will now face Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the quarterfinals.

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Sindhu said she was rushing in defence in the first game. “I started off well. In the first game, I was rushing in defence a bit but my coach told me that I was playing the wrong way and I was able to change how I played. And then in the second game I think it was fine, I maintained the lead and was under control," Sindhu told the BWF website.

On the reaching her second successive quarterfinals at Olympics and rising her game on big occasions, Sindhu said, “A lot of people have told me that. I will take that as a complement. But for me each and every game is important. It's important to focus on every point, and not the match."

Playing a much better opponent for the first time at the event, Sindhu started on a cautious note. She waited to get the feel of the court and relied mostly on taps near the net, half smashes and drives. She soon secured an 8-4 lead and went into break with a comfortable lead of 11-6. After the break, Mia upped the ante and tried to exploit the backhand corner of Sindhu, perhaps the only weaker spot of the Indian.

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The Dane reduced the lead to 11-13 before Sindhu regained momentum, increased the pace of her strokes and found gaps in Mia’s court. However, Mia was up for the challenge when she came as close as 15-16. But a couple of unforced errors helped the Indian to power ahead. With a five-point burst Sindhu clinched the first game. She was made to work hard in the second part of the first game.

In the second game, Sindhu started on an aggressive note and started with a 5-0 lead. Though Mia tried to comeback, she looked a lot tense and even made a couple of service errors. Sindhu was much sharper in the second game. She moved well and secured points at will. Once she secured a 16-11 lead, it was Sindhu all the way. Mia hardly put up a fight in the second game.

Surprisingly, Sindhu was not that aggressive against Mia. She played an all round game, nudging the shuttle looking for gaps and perfecting her defence. The Indian looked as if she was gearing up for the long-rally match against Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals.

Source: Times of India

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