Malaysia Masters: Step in Right Direction

Pusarla V. Sindhu has vowed to keep plugging away until she reaches her optimum level before the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

Beset by injuries in recent times, the former world champion made her latest return from a three-month layoff in February. Her slow and steady progress saw her make another significant step today at PERODUA Malaysia Masters 2024, where she reached her first semifinal in seven months.

Downed 21-13 14-21 21-12 on her way to the last four was top seeded world No.6 Han Yue, to whom she fell in three games for the first time at the Badminton Asia Championships in China last month.

“The third game was crucial for both of us. From the first rally, I made sure I was in the game focused and didn’t give away easy points. I was in control and I was confident of winning,” said Pusarla of her performance. “I’m happy with how I played because I lost our last match. It’s a shame as I was leading, but this is like a sweet revenge.

“I was prepared for three games, I was prepared for long rallies. At this level, you can’t expect a straightforward match. The top 10 players are of the highest standards, you can’t take it easy.

“It’s good I’ve come to the semis, this gives me a lot of confidence to go much further.”

With Paris 2024 two months away, the only women’s singles player to medal at Rio 2016 (silver) and Tokyo 2020 (bronze) is confident she could hit her peak with time.

“It’s nice (to be back in a semifinal). I’ve got a good training block as well. Mentally and physically I’m 100 per cent. Now it’s time to get that confidence back.

“I’m getting there but there’s still a lot more inside. I need to get all of that out.”

Pusarla’s next opponent, Busanan Ongbamrungphan, came through her tussle with Putri Kusuma Wardani 21-12 21-23 21-16. Pusarla leads their head-to-head 17-1.

Results (Quarterfinals)

Order of play (Semifinals)


“Malaysia is one of my favourite countries to compete in. Every time I play I can hear fans shouting encouragement in Thai. Thank you so much. I love that.” – Ongbamrungphan

“I love playing here. It feels like a home tournament when I hear the Malaysian fans cheering for me. There’s still a lot left in the tank for the semifinals. I can’t wait and I don’t mind playing anyone. It will be fun.”Ng Ka Long Angus

“I’ve had a great run. Making the quarterfinals went beyond any expectations I had. I’m happy about that and how I played. I’m only 20, there’s more to come from me.” – Jason Gunawan reflects on his week in Kuala Lumpur

“This is a big moment for us. I’d say this ranks as one of the best wins of our career. We had a good week in Thailand and we are happy to go one further at our home tournament. The crowd were going crazy cheering for us, it was a great experience.” – Roy King Yap

“The feeling and energy we had before going out were good but it was still a challenging match, especially with the crowd cheering against us. We haven’t played He Ji Ting/Ren Xiang Yu but we are excited and looking forward to it.” – Na Sung Seung after he and Jin Yong stunned top seeds Aaron Chia/Soh Wooi Yik 11-21 21-19 21-19

Na (right) and Jin in action against the home hopes.

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