The extravagant PV Sindhu faltered in the semi-finals of the Thailand Open, landing in back-to-back matches against China’s world number four Chen Yufei on Saturday. Two-time Olympic medalist Sindhu lost 17-21 16-21 to third seed Chen in 43 minutes to end an impressive run in the Super 500.
Sindhu, seeded sixth, enjoyed a 6-4 head-to-head score in the match but it wasn’t her best as usual and made plenty of unforced errors against the Chinese, who played aggressive badminton to take home the win over the Indian.
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad also lost to Chen the last time the two faced off in the BWF World Tour 2019 finals. Sindhu was the first to score points but Chen bolstered her defense and kept the rallies alive with her all-out game pushing the Indian into fouls.
After an initial 3-3, she cut Chen with a cross-kick on her front opponent. In search of accuracy, Sindhu teased the lines and Chen was spot on with her video referrals as she advanced 11-7 in the first match tiebreak.
Things didn’t change much as Chen continued to dominate the gatherings as Sindhu was able to find the net and outrun it away, and China was able to increase their lead to 17-12. Sindhu won a few points with a couple of accurate crosses from Chen’s backhand to make it 15-17 but the Chinese dumped a short push from Sindhu afterward to break the playing streak.
The Indian sent the shuttle back away and then into the net to hand five match points to Chen, who squandered two before losing the first inning to net again with Sendo. The world number 7 Indian put in a better display in the second match, taking a 6-3 lead before making it to 10-5. But Chen quickly found directions as she mixed her shots well to accumulate three points in a row.
However, Sindhu managed to get into the break by a narrow two-point lead after winning by 25 rounds.
But the world number four quickly tightened her game and turned the table as Sindhu continued her erratic run, allowing Chen to move to a 15-12 advantage.
Sindhu managed to narrow it down to 15-17 with a minute return that only accepted the lines but widened again with a comeback across the court. Chen then scored the winning goal with a forehand for Sendo before sending another goal into the front yard for five match points.
The Chinese missed one with a long shot before concluding the contest by smashing the body.
Sendo, who has won two Super 300 titles at the Sid Modi International Championships, the Swiss Open and a bronze medal in the Asian Badminton Championships this season, will next compete in the Indonesia Masters Super 500 Championship scheduled to be held in Jakarta from June 7-12.