The Olympic medallist kept her hopes of winning the title alive. 

PV Sindhu had to dig deep to secure a win in the All England Open Badminton Championship 2021 on Friday. The World No. 7 defeated a higher-ranked and third seed Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 16-21, 21-16, 21-19 in the quarter-final of the tournament which lasted for more than an hour.

The World No. 5 started the match on a better note than her Indian counterpart, as she secured the first game after a closely fought contest. This was the first occasion when PV Sindhu dropped a game in the ongoing tournament. 

However, the reigning world champion found her rhythm again in the second game as she moved her opponent around the court with some beautiful strokes. She brought the match on even terms after winning the second game by a good margin.

The match was eventually decided in the third game. Both female shuttlers showed immense determination and endurance in the decider. PV Sindhu looked a bit tired while running around the court but eventually triumphed by winning the third game and marched onto the last four. This will be her second semifinal at All England Open.

In the Men’s Singles bracket, Lakshya Sen succumbed to a narrow defeat at the hands of Mark Caljouw. The shuttler from the Netherlands secured victory by a 21-17, 16-21, 21-17 scoreline. The match lasted for 55 minutes as both players pushed each other to their limits.

Lakshya Sen lost the first game but managed to crawl back into the match by winning the second game. However, World No. 36 Caljouw proved to be more composed than the Indian. 

In the deciding third, Caljouw led at the interval by 11-6 but the game was brought level at 16-16 by Sen. Despite the great effort, the Dutch international cruised to victory by winning the last crucial points to secure the game and the match.  

In the Women’s Doubles action, Indian pair of Ashwini Ponappa and N. Sikki Reddy also bowed out of the tournament. They lost their quarter-final clash against Netherland’s Selena Piek and Cheryl Seinen by 24-22, 21-12 in 39 minutes.

The straight games defeat meant the end of the doubles challenge from India across all categories. The performance by all the Indian pairs was short in quality. The shuttlers must work towards improving their fitness levels and cohesion in the games to come. 

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