Sindhu dished out a superlative performance to outclass Mia Blichfeldt of Denmark in straight games as the fourth seed won 22-20 21-10 in 43 minutes to avenge her first-round loss to the Danish world number 12 at the Yonex Thailand Open in January.
“It’s been a good win today for me and playing against Mia was a kind of a revenge because in Thailand I had lost to her, so it was very important for me and yeah really looking forward to the finals,” Sindhu said. This is Sindhu’s first final appearance since the World championships here in 2019.
The second seeded Indian will take on top seed and Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin in the summit clash on Sunday. It will the first meeting between the two in over two years. “Carolina is a good player so it won’t be an easy match, I have to play my 100 per cent,” Sindhu said.
Indian Olympic hopefuls have been training at the Gachibowli complex for last few days to prepare for the Tokyo Games. “Training at a bigger stadium, similar to this stadium as I got used to it and it has helped me a lot here,” Sindhu said.
“I would once again thank everyone, BAI, SAI, Telangana State and Sports Minister for all the support and helping me with whatever I needed for training and preparation at the Gachibowli Stadium. It has helped me a lot.”
Sindhu emerged as the lone Indian survivor in the USD 140,000 event, the first tournament in the extended Olympic qualification period which ends on June 15. The Swiss Open is the first tournament that falls within the restructured qualification period for the Tokyo Olympics which will be held from July 23 this year. The qualification period ends on June 15 and, with the top 16 on the world rankings gaining automatic qualification, the seventh-ranked Sindhu is well-placed to make it to the quadrennial event.
Former champion Kidambi Srikanth, however, couldn’t cross the semifinal stage as he went down 13-21 19-21 to top seed and former world champion Viktor Axelsen. World number 10 Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also bowed out after losing 10-21 17-21 to sixth seeded Danish pair of Kim Astrup and Anders Skaarup Rasmussen in the last-four stage. The Indian duo had a last four finish in their last event at Toyota Thailand Open in January.
(With inputs from PTI)