World No 12 PV Sindhu created history by assuring India of at least a bronze medal at the World Badminton Championships beating former World No 1 Shixian Wang in straight games at the Tianhe Indoor Stadium in Ghangzou on Friday.
Sindhu had already caused a big upset Thursday, knocking out defending champion Yihan Wang of China. The 18-year-old took just 55 minutes to defeat the seventh seeded Chinese 21-18, 21-17 in the women's singles quarterfinal to go 2-0 up in career meets.This is only the third instance, and first in women's singles, that an Indian will bring home a medal from the Worlds. Prakash Padukone won the men's singles bronze in 1983 at Copenhagen while Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won another bronze in women's doubles in the last edition at London in 2011.After Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap suffered quarterfinal defeats in their respective categories earlier in the day, Sindhu made sure that India's campaign will continue at least on the penultimate day of the championships.Saina and Kashyap failed to make most of the opportunities they got. Third seed Saina's medal hopes were shattered by South Korean 13th seed Yeon Ju Bae, who beat the Indian 23-21, 21-9 in 40 minutes. Kashyap wasted a matchpoint and lost a gruelling one hour and 15-minute battle to Chinese World No.3 Pengyu Du 16-21, 22-20, 21-15.Sindhu, who is debuting at the championships, led from the start in the first game and rushed away to a 10-5 lead. Though Shixian, who is a 2010 World Championship bronze medallist, clawed back to 12-13, Sindhu ensured that she never surrendered the lead. A superb all-round game made sure that she maintained her advantage, even if it was only by a point. The World No 2 lagged 1-2 at the start of the second game but quickly got her bearings back and led for the rest of the game.After starting with a 6-2 lead, the tall lanky Hyderabadi again ensured that she maintained her lead throughout the rest of the game. From 18-16, she scooped the next two points to have four matchpoints. The 10th seed clinched victory on her second matchpoint to ensure herself a Worlds medal -- the first singles medal for India in 30 years.Sindhu will next face the winner of the other quarterfinal between Carolina Marin of Spain and fourth seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon.