India’s contention at the Singapore Open came to a halt after PV Sindhu bowed out following a straight games defeat against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. Sindhu had previously beaten Indonesia’s Lyanny Alessandra Mainaky, Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt, and China’s Cai Yanyan to reach the semifinals.
The last two times when Sindhu and Okuhara met, which were at the World Championships and the World Tour finals, the Indian had prevailed taking her head-to-head count to seven off the last 13 encounters. However, Sindhu looked to be a shadow of herself on Saturday and couldn’t really get the better of Okuhara for even once in the 37-minute match.
Okuhara started the first game by serving and she never had to look back since then. She had opened a 5-0 lead early on before Sindhu even won her first point. It was followed by another four consecutive points for the Japanese before she went into the break 11-3. While Sindhu was expected to come back stronger after the break, she further plummeted letting Okuhara have a massive nine-point lead at 15-5. Sindhu lost the first game 7-21.
It looked more like an anomaly over anything where Sindhu was just having a bad day at the office. And Okuhara wasn’t letting the chance to exploit that as was seen in the second game as well. After Sindhu started better this time, fighting toe to toe, it was just until 4-4 following which Okuhara won six consecutive points to take her lead to 10-4.
Though Sindhu pulled one back, Okuhara went into the break at 11-5, following which she won five points on the trot again. The match was all but over then and there and although Sindhu did manage to win some points here and there to cut the deficit to