India’s star shuttler PV Sindhu is set to play the semi-final on Saturday after winning the quarter-finals of the Arctic Open 2023 women’s singles event to defeat Vietnam’s Thuy Linh Nguyen at the Vantaa Energia Areena in Finland. PV Sindhu defeated the world No. 26 shuttler in three straight games, winning 20-22, 22-20, and 21-18. When PV Sindhu met Thuy Linh Nguyen on her way to winning the Singapore Open championship the previous year, she eked out a similarly tight victory.
Results at the Arctic Open 2023, a BWF Super 500 event, will count towards qualifying rankings for the Paris 2024 Olympics, as per Olympics.com.
In contrast to the past two meetings, PV Sindhu jumped right into the action to put Thuy Linh Nguyen on the defensive. A Vietnamese badminton player narrowed the lead to 5-4, but PV Sindhu quickly recovered to lead 11-4 at the first break.
The Indian badminton player appeared to be on track to seal the first game after the resumption. However, Thuy Linh Nguyen kept chipping away with points to level the scores at 17-all and win it from there.
Thuy Linh Nguyen raced to a 9-5 lead in the second game and maintained a four-point advantage to keep the match in her control. PV Sindhu, who is yet to win a BWF title this season, wrestled back the momentum to equalise at 18-all. Despite long rallies from Thuy Linh Nguyen, PV Sindhu stretched the match into the decider.
With the wind in her sails, PV Sindhu started the third game with attacking intent and had the 11-8 lead at the break. PV Sindhu extended her lead to five points but Thuy Linh Nguyen saved three match points before PV Sindhu finally sealed the match in 91 minutes.
Sindhu has played 14 BWF World Tour tournaments this year. In these, she has reached the final once, semifinals and quarterfinals twice each. The rest have been disappointing first or second-round exits. She last won the Singapore Open last year. She also failed to clinch a medal in the recently-concluded Asian Games in Hangzhou.
PV Sindhu is the only Indian left at the Arctic Open badminton tournament.
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