Double Olympic medallist P V Sindhu fought her way to the women’s singles quarterfinals with a come-from-behind win over world No. 7 Gregoria Mariska Tunjung of Indonesia at the Denmark Open Super 750 badminton tournament in Odense on Thursday. A former world champion Sindhu, who had reached the semifinals at Arctic Open last week, produced a gritty show to bounce back from a game down to outwit Tunjung 18-21 21-15 21-13 in a 71-minute second round match. The Indonesian had defeated Sindhu twice in the last three meetings this year, including one at the Madrid Spain Masters final, though the Indian came into the match with an overall 8-2 head-to-head record.
Sindhu has been going through poor form this season, having returned from the Hangzhou Asian Games without a medal and things looked bleak for the Indian after she fell behind 6-12 and conceded the opening game against the Indonesian.
However, she returned with vengeance in the second game, blazing her way to a 13-4 lead in a dominating run of play.
Soon, the Indonesian reeled off eight straight points to draw parity at 14-14 but two flick serves helped Sindhu to move ahead as she grabbed six game points when Tunjung went long.
Sindhu squandered one before sending a precise lift at the baseline to take the match to the decider.
After some early blows, it was 3-3 in the third game. Sindhu disposed of a serve with a straight smash but then went wide at net to allow the advantage slip.
A series of forehand cross hits kept Sindhu under pressure as she continued to make errors. In no time, Sindhu was trailing 5-9.
But the Indian was back on level terms after drawing errors out of her rival. Tunjung grabbed a narrow one point advantage after two precise returns on her opponent’s forehand but Sindhu again fought back to draw level at 13-13 after Tunjung went long twice.
The young Indonesian imploded as she made too many errors on the backline and at net as Sindhu jumped to 18-13 in a blink of an eye.
A reverse drop took her to seven match points and Sindhu sealed it with a diving save as her opponent sent the shuttle to the net.