Jolly-Gopichand advance to 2nd successive semis in All England Championships

Indian pair of Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand continued their impressive run, dishing out another superlative performance to advance to their second successive semi-finals at the All England Championships here on Friday. The World No. 17 Indian pair looked solid in their defence and relentless in attack, claiming 21-14, 18-21, 21-12 win over the newly-formed Chinese pair of Li Wen Mei and Liu Xuan Xuan in a 64-minute quarter-finals.

The only Indians in the fray, Gayatri and Treesa will face Korea’s Baek Ha Na and Lee So Hee next. In the quarter-finals, Gayatri, 20, and Treesa, 19, were up against Li, who has been World No. 9 in the past, and Liu, a former World No. 16. Taking on the World No. 52 pair, the Indian pair displayed their aggressive intent right from the word go and moved to 6-2 early on. The Chinese pair clawed back at 6-6 but the Indian soon entered the mid-game interval with a healthy 11-8 advantage.

Also Read: All England Open Badminton Championships 2023: PV Sindhu falls at first hurdle!

Read the opposition well

Gayatri and Treesa got a measure of their opponent quickly and constructed the points well to move to 18-12 before taking the first game comfortably. The Indian pair kept a firm grip on the rallies to lead 5-1 and 10-6 at one stage after the change of sides but Li and Liu soon found their bearing and chipped away at the lead. Eventually, a couple of tight serves from Liu helped them cap five straight points and take a 11-10 lead.

It was a down-the-line smash from Gayatri that broke the run of points. Few flat exchanges ensued next with Treesa’s wild forehand landing out and Gayatri rushing onto a shot as the Chinese pair again grabbed the lead. Li and Liu tried to produce acute angles as Treesa found the net. A couple of errors from the Indians put the Chinese pair three points from levelling the scores. 

Li soon set up four game points with a precise on-the-line return. India saved two game points before Li unleashed a smash to take the match to the decider. In the third game, it was a one-way traffic as the Indian pair reeled off six points on the trot to gallop to 8-1.

Attacking strategy

The Chinese tried to slow down the pace but Treesa’s relentless attack from the back took the Indian pair to 11-4 at the midgame interval. The chinese couldn’t sustain the pressure as Treesa unleashed a booming smash to reach 18-10. Another smash from Gayatri set up a massive eight match point advantage and the Indian pair sealed it when the Chinese pair went long.

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