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World Tour Finals: Sindhu to meet Yamaguchi in semis

Source: PTI
Last updated on: December 03, 2021 22:29 IST
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India's Lakshya Sen will take on reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen in the men's singles semis.

PV Sindhu has already qualified for the BWF World Tour Finals semis

IMAGE: India's P V Sindhu lost to top seed Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in her last group match at the BWF World Tour Finals. Photograph: BWF/Twitter

Assured of a semi-final berth at the World Tour Badminton Finals, India's P V Sindhu suffered a three-game defeat to top seed Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in her third and final Group A women's singles match, in Bali, on Friday.

A two-time Olympic medallist, Sindhu was unable to apply enough pressure on the World No. 10 Chochuwong and went down 12-21, 21-19, 14-21 in 71 minutes.

 

This was Sindhu's third loss to the 2016 World junior champion in seven meetings.

Sindhu thus finished second in Group A, behind Chochuwong. She will meet Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in Saturday's semi-finals.

In the men's singles semi-finals, India's Lakshya Sen will take on reigning Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

Sindhu, the reigning World champion, was erratic and couldn't control the rallies against Chochuwong, who rode on her quality of strokes to stay a step ahead.

In the first game, Sindhu erred in her lengths early on as Chochuwong led 5-3. The Indian managed to collect a few points but was never in control.

Chochuwong took the initiative and kept things under her control, leading 11-6 at the interval.

The Thai player was rewarded for her angled and crisp returns, while Sindhu lacked consistency as Chochuwong took a 17-9 lead.

An attacking return gave Chochuwong eight game points and she sealed it when Sindhu went wide again.

After the change of sides, Chochuwong, playing with the drift, committed a few unforced errors as Sindhu led 6-3 before managing a healthy five-point advantage at the break with her rival going long.

Three defensive lapses from Sindhu saw Chochuwong narrow down the lead to 9-12. The duo played some exciting rallies next with the Thai managing to level the scores at 16-16.

A lucky net chord helped Chochuwong get into a slender 18-17 lead but Sindhu again fought back to grab a game point when her rival made a judgement error at the backline.

Another excruciating rally ended with Chochuwong going wide as Sindhu made a comeback into the contest.

The decider started on an even keel but Chochuwong managed to take 11-7 advantage at the breather. The Thai kept gathering points with her precise returns, moving to 17-14.

Chochuwong reeled off three straight points and then Sindhu made a judgement error at the backline as the Thai celebrated.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Kidambi Srikanth. Photograph: Ritzau Scanpix/Claus Fisker/Reuters

Earlier, Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the season-ending tournament after losing to second seeded Malaysian Lee Zii Jia 19-21, 14-21 in 37 minutes in his third and final Group B match.

It was Srikanth's second loss to the World No. 8 Malaysian, who had defeated the Indian at Hylo Open in straight games.

Srikanth trailed 0-3 at the start but made his way to a slim 9-8 lead at one stage. An alert Lee, however, ensured a two-point advantage at the interval.

A six-point burst helped the Indian to again grab a 17-15 lead but he let it slip as Lee pocketed the opening game.

Srikanth made a good start in the second game, moving to 7-3 advantage but Lee once again turned the tables, jumping to 13-9 and kept his nose ahead to eventually shut the doors on the Indian.

Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy too ended their campaign though they eked out a hard-fought 21-19, 9-21, 21-14 win over England's Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith in the inconsequential third and final group match.

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