Since her runner-up finish to Carolina Marin at the Swiss Open in March, Sindhu hasn’t reached another final this year. The World No. 7 made the semifinals in three of her next four tournaments, one of which was the Tokyo Olympics, where she came away with the bronze medal.
Sindhu will desperately be looking to correct that record at the ongoing Indonesia Masters this week. The third seed has entered this tournament on the back of an encouraging performance at the French Open last month, where she went down to Japanese veteran Sayaka Takahashi in three games in the semis.
Sindhu’s bid for her first-ever Indonesia Masters title, however, didn’t start off in the way she would have liked. The two-time Olympic medalist took time to find her range and needed three games to prevail over World No. 47 Clara Azurmendi.
But the Indian has been improving with each match and would be keen to keep the momentum going. She held her nerve to stave off a mighty challenge from 24-year-old rising Thai star Supanida Katethong to record a 21-15, 21-19 win in the second round.
Sindhu hasn’t yet reached her peak form but the fact that she was able to hold off a surging Katethong and close out the match in straight games would give her confidence a huge boost.
Her next opponent, Neslihan Yigit, is very familiar. The two have already squared off twice this year, with the Indian earning straight-game wins each time.
Having said that, the world champion cannot afford to relax. Yigit, a European Championships semifinalist, did show the door to sixth seed Michelle Li 21-14, 21-18 in the first round of the Indonesia Masters.
With the Turk not having conceded a game so far, Sindhu needs to assert her supremacy right from the start and not give away cheap points as she pursues a place in the last four.
Indonesia Masters 2021: Match details
Fixture: (3) PV Sindhu vs Neslihan Yigit
Head-to-head: PV Sindhu leads Neslihan Yigit 3-0, having beaten the Turk 21-12, 21-10 in their last meeting at the Denmark Open earlier this year.
Date: 19 November 2021
Time: Approx 2:40 pm local time, 12:10 pm IST
Tournament: Daihatsu Indonesia Masters 2021
Venue: Bali, Indonesia
Category: BWF World Tour Super 750
Prize money: $600,000
Indonesia Masters 2021: TV schedule
The Indonesia Masters 2021 is being live telecast on the Star Sports 3 & Star Sports 2 HD TV channels.
Indonesia Masters 2021: Live streaming details
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The Indonesia Masters 2021 can be live-streamed on the Disney+Hotstar app.