NANJING, China: On a day of major upsets, India’s PV Sindhu stood tall by reaching the semi-final of the World Championships for the fourth time yesterday.
Sindhu was on top of her game and beat Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-17 21-19 to enter the semi-final for the second straight year.
She will face Akane Yamaguchi next.
Meanwhile, all other India players, Saina Nehwal, Sai Praneeth and mixed double pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa lost.
Meanwhile, Olympic champion Carolina Marin bellowed and blustered her way into the semi-finals with a devastating 21-6, 21-11 victory over Nehwal.
The 25-year-old Spaniard and seventh seed is chasing a third world crown and on this ominous form she looks like she could well get it.
Marin plays China’s He Bingjiao in the last four after the sixth seed stunned world number one Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan.
The Spaniard is particularly vocal and demonstrative on court, shouting or screaming in Spanish after every winning point and before serving too.
One member of the audience took to imitating her. Asked by AFP what she was hollering, Marin replied with a laugh: “I cannot tell you!
“It is just something I keep to myself. It was not a strategy against Saina, it is something I do against any opponent. I do it for myself.
The strongly fancied Tai tasted just a second defeat in 35 matches, a run which brought five titles and cemented her status as the woman to beat in Nanjing.
But the 24-year-old was sloppy at times against He, making a series of unforced errors, particularly at the net, going out of the tournament over three unpredictable games.
China’s He emerged after just under an hour to win 21-18, 7-21, 21-13 in a thrilling contest.
In the men’s section, holder Viktor Axelsen was dumped out of the championships by China’s Chen Long 21-19, 21-11.
Olympic champion Chen will play Shi Yuqi - at three the top remaining seed - in an all-Chinese semi-final.
The other men’s semi-final will be between Liew Daren, the unseeded Malaysian, and in-form Kento Momota of Japan, now favourite for the title after Axelsen’s demise.
Liew defeated Japan’s Kanta Tsuneyama over three gruelling games despite hurting his right ankle.
An overcome Liew collapsed to the floor at the end with his arms covering his head and his face planted in the court.