Two time Olympic medalist Sindhu suffered her fourth successive defeat against Korea’s An Seyoung , losing 14-21, 17-21 in 48 minutes.
PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth’s impressive run ended in the semi-finals after they went down in straight sets at the Korea Open Super 500 badminton tournament at Suncheon on Saturday. Two time Olympic medalist Sindhu suffered her fourth successive defeat against Korea’s An Seyoung , losing 14-21, 17-21 in 48 minutes. Meanwhile former world no. 1 Srikanth came up short against Asian Games champion Jonatan Christie, going down 19-21, 16-21 in 50 minutes.
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Third seed Sindhu tried everything at her disposal but couldn’t find a way past the number four An Seyoung, displayed great athleticism and precision, leaving Sindhu on the back foot from the start. The 20-year-old Korean rode on her super retrieving skills to take a 6-1 lead. Next she made two diving returns on both flanks to blunt Sindhu’s attacks and sealed it with a delightful drop.
Although Sindhu, who had won the Swiss open title last month, tried to make a comeback with two powerful smashes, making the score 4-7 but Seyoung came up with two precise returns to gain a 11-6 lead at the break. An Seyoung displayed a wide array of shots to keep the lead intact. Although Sindhu got a few points, Seyoung maintained her composure to grab eight game points, two of which were saved by the Indian before the Korean unleashed a lightning smash to seal the first game.
Sindhu started the second game positively, taking a three point lead but the Korean soon surged ahead to 5-3. At one point , the scores were tied at 9-9. However, Seyoung was relentless in her retrieves and soon managed to take a two-point advantage when Sindhu shot one into the net.
Though Sindhu tried to engage the youngster in long rallies, slow courts didn’t allow her to implement the strategy well. Sindhu lost the second game 17-21. An Seyoung will next play sixth seed Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in Sunday’s final.
On the other hand, 29-year-old Srikanth had a chance to avenge his previous defeat and looked determined for revenge as he made a decent start, leading 11-8 at the interval of the first game. But the Indian couldn’t maintain the tempo as Christie shifted gears to claim the opening game 21-19.
After the change of ends, as the game progressed Christie grew in confidence. Though Srikanth managed to make it 11-12 before grabbing a slender 14-13 lead, Christie was alert to quickly respond and grabbed six points to reach 19-14. The Indonesian held five match points, while Srikanth saved one before Christie produced another quick return to reach his second successive final of a BWF World Tour event.