And she takes the lead! Thulasi 7-6 ahead now.
Thulasi has kept it quite close in the 2nd match and Hirose has started making some unforced errors. Thulasi trails 9-10 now.
Hirose pulling away now: 14-10
Hirose may be the better player no doubt, but Thulasi is not losing without a fight. Wins two points to make it 12-14.
Great return from Hirose -- Thulasi dives to save it but the point was gone as soon as the racquet hit the shuttle. Thulasi trails 13-18 now.
That's it! Japan make it 2-2 from behind. Hirose beats Thulasi 21-14, 21-15.
It's mouth-watering now... Saina and Sindhu to pair up!!
Sindhu gets all the returns in the first point -- hits it over and out.
Excellent coordination so far. Saina more vocal, buoying Sindhu to smash and grab the points.
There we go! India make it 4-4 — Sindhu's return lures the smash which hits the net.
Oh what a smash from Sindhu - lands right at the edge and inside. Ind 5-4.
6-5 now to India after another point. Saina serves...
Smash from Saina hits Miyuki like a bullet. What a point that is. Saina-Sindhu lead 8-5.
Another smash-point - this time Sindhu with three in a row - the third one getting the point. 9-8 the lead.
Miyuki/Raike go into the break leading 11-9 vs Saina/Sindhu.
So it's quite clear what India's strategy is — finish points quickly and slow down the pace of the game with constant smashes. They trail 11-14.
That's good stuff -- Sindhu's serve is hard and angled -- the return bangs into the net.
Japan lead this game 16-12.
Saina commits two errors in a row as India trail Japan 12-17 in the 1st game.
More errors from Saina and Sindhu — they trail 18-13 now. This does not bode well.
And Sindhu misses a great chance to smash it into no-man's land for a point. 19-13 Japan now.
Smashed and Saina/Sindhu can't return it. Japan take 1st game 21-14. If they win the next one, they win the tie.
Saina/Sindhu take the first point of the 2nd game, and then make an error. 1-1 now.
That's much better from Saina and Sindhu. They're defending better now and forcing some errors from their opponents.
Saina/Sindhu 5-4 up at the moment.
Fatigue coming into play now as Saina/Sindhu, who both played earlier, look to cope with another pressure match.
Excellent, these two are keeping pace with a specialist doubles team -- 8-8 now.
Backhand flick and Japan are in a 10-8 lead now.
Miyuki/Reika lead 11-8 at the break of the 2nd game vs Saina/Sindhu.
Just tired returns now from Saina and Sindhu both... trailing 10-14 in 2nd game. Japan edge closer to a win.
Strong smash from Reika and Sindhu's return is weak -- hits the net and gives teh Japanese a 17-11 lead.
What a lovely cross-court return and Japan are two points from making the finals of the Uber Cup.
Smashed straight into Sindhu and that's how the Japanese fold the match: 21-14, 21-11. What a fightback! 3-2 they've beaten India and are into the finals.
Japan are through to the finals of the Uber Cup after a 3-2 win over India.