PV Sindhu failed to overcome the final hurdle yet again, going down against Akane Yamaguchi in the women's singles final of the World Superseries Finals on Sunday. In an hour and 31 minutes game, Sindhu managed to win the first game but lost the last two to lose the final 21-15, 12-21, 19-21.
Playing her fourth final of the season, Sindhu drew the first blood with a magnificent down the line smash, but, a couple of unforced errors and a wrong judgement at the baseline allowed Yamaguchi to make it 3-2. A lucky net chord gave another point to the Japanese. However, Sindhu unleashed a superb cross-court smash to draw level at 5-5. The Indian went wide next and another lucky net chord saw Yamaguchi open a 7-5 lead, but Sindhu grabbed six straight points to turn the tables completely.
After the interval, Sindhu moved to 13-8 after grabbing two points, but Yamaguchi made a good comeback to take the scorecard to 13-14. The Japanese, however, could not capitalize on it as she hit wide and Sindhu unleashed two sensational returns to open up a five-point cushion once again. The Indian earned seven-game point opportunities, but Yamaguchi saved two game points before Sindhu's cross court smash came to her rescue as the Indian pocketed the first game in 23 minutes.
In the second game, Sindhu came out all guns blazing, zooming to a 5-to-love lead. However, the Indian was called for a service fault and ended up giving another point to her rival, before a wide shot from the Japanese took her to 6-2. A couple of unforced errors by Sindhu allowed Yamaguchi to narrow the gap to 7-8, but the Japanese then set up the next point superbly, closing it with a body smash to draw parity at 8-8. Yamaguchi then opened up a 10-8 lead after winning another exhausting rally before entering the break with a two-point advantage. The Japanese consolidated on the lead to swell to 15-11. The Indian, slightly exhausted by then, ended up committing unforced errors that helped Yamaguchi grab the second game and force the match to the decider.
In the decider, Sindhu opened up a 4-0 lead early on, only for Yamaguchi to claw her way back once again, to 5-5, with a body smash and an onrushing return at the backline. But, Sindhu managed to eke out an 8-6 lead with a return on her rival's forehand. A backhand tap near the net gave another point to Sindhu, who entered the interval with a three-point advantage. After the change of ends, it was Yamaguchi who played the better of the two and narrowed the deficit to 10-11 before Sindhu grabbed a point.
At 13-12, Sindhu missed the line again after another rally to allow Yamaguchi draw parity. The duo went neck to neck following it and a cross-court return on the line earned Sindhu a point as she drew level when Yamaguchi's miscued drop shot went to the net. Sindhu produced a precise cross court smash but the World No.1 unleashed a prompt return to move to 19-18. Though a couple of shots on her rival's backhand helped Sindhu to come back at 19-19, the Indian found the net next shot as she handed over the championship point to Yamaguchi.
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