Error-prone PV Sindhu loses in Thailand Open semi-finals

In the semifinals of the Thailand Open here on Saturday, they lost to Olympic champion and world No. 4 seed Chen Yu Fei in straight games. Two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu lost 17-21 16-21 to third-seeded Chen in 43 minutes to end an impressive run in the Super 500.

Sixth-seeded Sindhu enjoyed a 6-4 head-to-head count for the match but she was not as good as she always was and made more compelling mistakes against the Chinese playing offensive badminton, scoring trumps against the Indians.

The 26-year-old from Hyderabad lost to Chen at the 2019 BWF World Tour Finals when they both faced off for the last time.

Sindhu scored first but Chen strengthened his defense and kept the rallies alive with his overall game to push the Indians to make mistakes.

After the initial 3-3 battle, Chen broke into a rival’s forehand with a cross court slice. Looking for accuracy, Sindhu lined up the lines and drew attention to Chen’s video quotes as she led 11-7 at intermission in the first game.

Things did not change much as Chen continued to dominate the rallies, found the Indus net and went wide and long, as the Chinese managed to extend their lead to 17-12.

With a couple of precise cross court returns in the Chen backhand, Sindhu won some points and made it 15-17, but the Chinese pulled out a small lift to seal the game.

The Indian sent the shuttle to Long and then to the net to give Chen five game points, before Sindhu again found the net and ruined the second before beating the first game.

The 7th seeded Indian in the world performed well in the second game, taking a 10-5 to 6-3 lead. But Chen soon found her bearings as she blended her shots well to collect three consecutive points.

However, after winning the 25-shot rally, Sindhu managed to take a break with a narrow two-point cushion.

But as Sindhu continued her errant run, the world No. 4 soon tightened her game and turned the table, allowing Chen to move to a 15-12 advantage.

Sindhu managed to narrow it down to 15-17, which only kissed the streaks but they again widened with a cross court return.

Chen then built the winner in Sindhu’s forehand, first sending another in forecourt to secure five match points. The Chinese destroyed one with a long shot before sealing the match with Body Smash.

Sindhu, who won two Super 300 titles at the Syed Modi International and Swiss Open, won a bronze medal at the Badminton Asia Championships this season and will compete in the Indonesia Masters Super 500 in Jakarta from June 7 to 12.

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