The 22-year-old Sindhu notched up a straight-game (21-13 21-10) win over World No. 10 Chen in the women's singles semifinals last night, to assure India of at least a silver medal from her after compatriot Saina Nehwal had to settle for a bronze.
The last four matches against the Chinese were supposed to be tough, but it was Sindhu at her best, and there was no stopping for the girl from Hyderabad, who emerged victorious in the final to set up a date with Nozomi Okuhara.
Though Sindhu had defeated the Japanese in 2016 Rio Olympics, the latter equaled the score this time. Saina tried her best to not let Okuhara go out of her sights and forced Okuhara to hit the shuttle wide and win the point. Stay tuned for the latest updates. Nehwal dominated the first game but the Japanese scripted a remarkable comeback to win the next two games in 73 minutes. The Japanese took the benefit of Saina's tiredness as she used the whole court perfectly to take the game to 10-3. In a hard fought rally, she finally succeeded in turning the second game in her favor 22-20.
The match is the second one in the day's order of play and can be expected to start at around 6.15 PM IST. Chen, who is the junior world champion, had managed to subdue the top seed Akane Yumaguchi as well as the 2013 champion, Ratchanok Intanon on her way to semis.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi also tweeted to congratulate Sindhu for her wonderful match performance.
Tennis legend Leander Paes tweeted a picture of Sindhu and Saina Nehwal on the podium and wrote, "Watching two of our Champions on the Podium is such a proud feeling!" After the change of side, Okuhara struggled to control her lifts and also miscued a few shots as Sindhu led 5-1. A net error stopped Okuhara's run as Sindhu held a 11-8 lead, which she extended to 18-16.