PV Sindhu was unable to carry her form from the Marin encounter yesterday and lost in the semifinal to Sung Ji Hyun in a three-setter 15-21, 21-18, 15-21. Sindhu fought back valiantly to win the second, but Sung took an early lead in the third and retained it to enter the final of the tournament.
PV Sindhu had a 6-3 head-to-head record going into the match against World No. 5 Sung Ji Hyun with her last win coming just last month en route to her maiden Superseries title at the China Open. More importantly, Sindhu came into the semifinal after having won a major psychological battle on Friday with a win against Olympic champion Carolina Marin.
Sung, however, also has been in terrific form having topped the other group with a straight-sets win over World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying.
In the very first point, Sung showed her prowess pulling Sindhu apart with her placements to win it. Erratic play from both players saw the game move towards 3-4 before Sindhu drew par with a backcourt drop - something that she has failed to bring into effect so far in the event.
Sindhu’s errors, however, came back to trouble her with Sung taking a 5-7 lead and extending it with some nifty play at the net. Sindhu made amends for that with some sustained attacking play that saw her close the gap to 9-10, but a long return saw Sung go into the break with the lead at 9-11.
At 11-13, Sindhu made a great lunging return to keep the shuttle in
The second game began with a great rally that stretched into 30 shots with both players missing chances to finish, but it was Sindhu who eventually gave up dumping her return into the net. Sindhu caught up with the Korean at 2-2, and once again at 4-4 by taking her time to place a superb smash-drop leaving Sung stranded in the middle.
Sindhu took the lead going up 7-6 with another well-placed smash to her opponent’s left. Sindhu’s shifted her game to the backcourt after apparently receiving instructions from coach Gopichand and stifled the Korean’s netplay with her
Errors at both ends saw the game slowly inch ahead with both players in lockstep until 16-16. And then on 18-18, Sindhu won the point with a hairpin
Sung took an early 1-4 lead in the decider and extended it to 3-8 thanks to Sindhu’s stream of errors. After committing initial faults, Sindhu did everything right by sending well-placed smashes only to see Sung somehow send back all of them to go up 5-9.
Sung went into the break with a 6-11 lead despite Sindhu putting up a brave defence. Sung began sending shorter