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Last Updated Saturday April 21 2018 08:45 PM IST

Sindhu trounces Akane, tops Group A at World Superseries Finals

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Sindhu trounces Akane, tops Group A at World Superseries Finals Sindhu, who clinched two Super Series titles this season before winning a silver at the World Championship, will face China's Chen Yufei on Saturday.

Dubai: Already assured of a semi-final spot, PV Sindhu dispatched Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in straight games but Kidambi Srikanth's dismal run ended with another defeat at the $1 million Dubai Super Series Final here on Friday.

World No. 3 Sindhu, an Olympic silver medalist, thrashed World No. 2 Yamaguchi 21-9 21-13 in just 36 minutes to top group A in women's singles at the Sheikh Hamdan Indoor Stadium here.

However, world no. 4 Srikanth suffered his third straight loss in men's singles Group B, going down 17-21 21-19 14-21 to All England Championship finalist Chinese Shi Yuqi in the last group stage match.

Sindhu, who clinched two Super Series titles this season before winning a silver at the World Championship, will face China's Chen Yufei, who saw off Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon 21-18 13-21 21-18 in another Group B match on Saturday.

The 22-year-old Indian showed great anticipation and athleticism to completely dominate the proceedings even as Yamaguchi got buried under a heap of unforced errors in the last Group A women's singles match.

Before the match, Sindhu had a 4-2 head-to-head record against Yamaguchi, which included a win at the Hong Kong Super Series last month.

Sindhu made a rousing start to the match, zooming to a 5 -0 lead. An error at the net allowed Yamaguchi to break it before Sindhu wrested back the serve. The Japanese was effected by a series of unforced errors as she sent the shuttle flying wide and long.

Sindhu entered the opening break at 11-1 with a superb return and continued to rule the roost after the breather, reaching 15-4.

Yamaguchi won points sporadically, exploiting the Indian's backhand a couple of times, but she failed to curb her unforced errors.

At 18-6, Sindhu committed a fault at the net but she followed that with a smash and gained 13 game points when her opponent went wide again.

Yamaguchi saved a couple of game points before Sindhu wrapped up the opening game with a delightful cross court drop.

The second game started on an equal footing with Sindhu and Yamaguchi splitting the initial four points after engaging in some fierce rallies. At 6-7, the duo engaged in a long rally before Yamaguchi sent it wide. A couple of unforced errors and Sindhu was leading 6-8.

The Japanese again narrowed it down to 8-9 before an accurate down-the-line smash and an error at the net by Yamaguchi helped Sindhu enter the lemon break with a three- point advantage.

The ordeal continued for Yamaguchi as she struggled to control the shuttle, allowing Sindhu to move to a 13-8 lead. A favourable video referral and a miscued shot by a stretched Sindhu gave a couple of points to the Japanese before Sindhu unleashed a roaring smash.

A low lift at the forecourt and an overhead return going to net further swelled Sindhu's lead. The Indian capitalised by a cross court drop, reaching 18-12.

A deceptive return and another miscued stroke by Yamaguchi handed Sindhu seven match points and she sealed it with a quick reflex near the net.

Meanwhile, defending women's champion Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan bowed out of the competition despite winning her final Group B game against last year's runner-up Sung Ji Hyun of South Korea 21-17, 21-11.

"I played my game today, but unfortunately the victory wasn't enough," Ying said.

"Yes I am disappointed for missing the semifinals. I won two matches. That's why this tournament is so tough," the world number one added.

It was Chinese teen sensation Chen Yufei who denied Ying a place in the semifinal with a thrilling three-set win (21-18, 13-21, 21-18­) over Thailand's Ratchanok Intanon, who had already booked her place in the last-four stage on Thursday.

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