Sindhu gets her revenge over Olympic and world champion Carolina Marin in Dubai
In a repeat of the women's singles final at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in August India's P.V. Sindhu (Image above) got her revenge for her defeat in the gold medal match when packed off Spain's Carolina Marin to advance to the semi-finals in the Dubai World Superseries.
The lanky Indian, named this year's Most Improved Player by BWF, swept past the shrieking Spaniard in straight sets 21-17, 21-13 win 47 minutes. The victory at the Hamdan Sports Complex in Dubai was certainly sweet revenge for Sindhu.
It has been a disastrous outing for Marin in Dubai - losing all her three Group B matches - to China's Sun Yu (21-18, 24-22) and Akane Yamaguchi of Japan (18-21, 21-17, 21-14) before the defeat to Sindhu.
Earlier Sun Yu completed kept her winning run in the group when she defeated second seeded Yamaguchi in three sets 15-21, 21-10, 21-10 in a 62 minute encounter to top Group B followed by Sindhu to advance to the last four.
In Group A world No 1 and top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan suffered a 21-15, 21-17 defeat to Korea's Sung Ji-hyun. However, both Tzu Ying and Ji-hyun had already qualified for the knockout round.
Meanwhile, four-time champion Lee Chong Wei's hopes of winning the title for the fifth time ended when he went to Denmark's Viktor Axelsen. The lanky Dane advanced to the semi-finals with a 14-21, 21-14, 21-19 in 72 minutes. It was the Rio Olympics bronze medallist's first win over the Malaysian world No 1 who won the silver in Rio.
Chong Wei, however, took the defeat in his stride sand said: "It is okay with me knowing that I am coming back to competitive badminton after a two-month layoff due to injury. I will work harder on my fitness and come back stronger for the new season."
The 34-year-old Chong Wei won the Superseries Finals title in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2013. He was earlier this week named the Best Male Player of the Year for 2016.
Malaysia, however, will still have interest in Dubai when second seeds and world No 1 Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong made the semi-finals with a 16--21, 21-13, 22-20 win over China's Chai Biao-Hong Wei in a Group B match.
All England champions Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto of Indonesia continued their fine run in Dubai as they sent Denmark's Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen out of the tournament with a 21-17, 21-16 win in their Group A match.
RESULTS (3rd Day)
Tian Houwei (Chn) beat Jan O Jorgensen (Den) 21-16, 22-20
Marc Zwiebler (Ger) beat Hu Yun (Hkg) 21-10, 18-10 (rtd)
Angus Ng Ka Long (Hkg) beat San Wan-ho (Kor) 24-26, 21-8, 21-11
Viktor Axelsen (Den) beat Lee Chong Wei (Mas) 14-21, 21-14, 21-19
Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) beat
He Bingjiao (Chn) beat Ratchanok Intanon (Tha) 21-19, 10-11 (rtd)
Sung Ji-hyun (Kor) beat Tai Tzu Ying (Tpe) 21-15 21-17
Sun Yu (Chn) beat Akane Yamaguchi (Jpn) 15-21, 21-10, 21-10
P.V. Sindhu (Ind) beat Carolina Marin (Spn) 21-17, 21-13
Mads Conrad Petersen-Mads Pieler Kolding (Den) beat Angga Pratama-Ricky Karanda Suwardi (Ina) 21-15, 18-21, 21-18
Takeshi Kamura-Keigo Sonoda (Jpn) beat Marcus Fernaldi Gideon-Kevin Sanjaya Sukamuljo (Ina) 21-15, 21-19
Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong (Mas) beat Chai Biao-Hong Wei (Chn) 16-21, 21-13, 22-20
Li Junhui-Liu Yuchen (Chn) w/o Mathias Boe-Carsten Mogensen (Den)
Misaki Matsutomo-Ayaka Takahashi (Jpn) beat Chang Ye-na-Lee So-hee (Kor) 21-18, 21-14
Luo Ying-Luo Yu (Chn) beat Naoko Fukuman-Kurumi Yonao (Jpn) 21-18, 23-21
Kamilla Rhytter Juhl-Christinna Pedersen (Den) beat Jung Kyung-eun-Shin Seung-chan (Kor) 21-19, 9-21, 21-16
Chen Qingchen-Jia Yifan (Chn) beat Vivian Hoo-Woon Khe Wei (Mas) 21-17, 21-18
Praveen Jordan-Debby Susanto (Ina) beat Joachim Fischer Nielsen-Christinna Pedersen (Den) 21-17, 21-16
Ko Sung-hyun-Kim Ha-na (Kor) w/o Tontowi Ahmad-Liliyana Natsir (Ina)
Zheng Siwei-Chen Qingchen (Chn) beat Kenta Kazuno-Ayane Kurihara (Jpn) 21-19, 21-14
Chris Adcock-Gabrielle Adcock (Eng) beat Lu Kai-Huang Yaqiong (Chn) 24-22, 21-19