Indian challenge over as Sindhu loses

By Agency Published on Jun 30, 2018 06:01 PM IST

Kuala Lumpur: Following the loss of Kidambi Srikanth, India's top shuttler P V

Sindhu went down fighting in the women's semifinals to draw the curtains on the team's campaign at the USD 700,000 Malaysia Open Super World Tour 750 tournament here today.

Playing against the defending champion and world number 1 Tai Tzu Ying, who showed a better technical acumen and physical ability, Sindhu ended with a  15-21 21-19 11-21 loss. Sindhu has now lost nine times to Tai Tzu, this being her fifth successive reverse.

Tai Tzu moved swiftly on court, switched from attack to defence, played some creative strokes to eventually outwit Sindhu. Sindhu and Tai played some high-quality rallies, which were laced with drop shots and tight net strokes.

The duo moved together initially before Tai Tzu opened up a 9-6 lead. Sindhu reduced the deficit but in the end, Tai Tzu led 11-9 when she punched one precisely at the back line.

Tai Tzu looked supremely fit, extremely confident and played quick drops, smashes and also tried out some ambitious strokes to move to game point at 20-15. Another error from Sindhu and it was advantage Tai Tzu after the opening game.

After the change of sides, Sindhu managed to zoom to a 5-0 lead. However, Tai Tzu drew parity at 9-9 before leading 11-10 at the break. Sindhu kept breathing down her opponent's neck and led 18-16 with four straight points.

However, Tai Tzu again erased the deficit and moved to a minor 19-18 lead when Sindhu went long. But the Indian grabbed a game point when Tai Tzu went wide. A similar error and Sindhu had bounced back into the contest.

In the decider, the duo split the first eight points. But Tai Tzu again marched ahead to 10-6 before a lucky net chord handed the lead to the Chinese Taipei shuttler.

After the final change in sides, Tai Tzu played some perfectly timed shots at the backline to race to a 16-8 advantage. Tai Tzu simply toyed with Sindhu as he Indian made judgement errors and missed the lines, sandwiched with some brilliant returns.

Two weak returns from Sindhu ensured Tai Tzu reached her fourth final at the Malaysia Open.