BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu's Title Defence Ends After Loss to Chen Yu Fei

File photo of PV Sindhu. (Photo Credit: BAI)

File photo of PV Sindhu. (Photo Credit: BAI)

PV Sindhu lost her second group game in succession at the BWF World Tour Finals, going down to China's Chen Yu Fei in a 3-game thriller.

PV Sindhu lost to Chen Yu Fei of China in her second group game at the BWF World Tour Finals in Guangzhou on Thursday.

Sindhu lost to world number 2 Chen 22-20 16-21 12-21 in an encounter that lasted 1 hour and 12 minutes. Akane Yamaguchi beat He Bing Jiao 25-27 21-10 21-13 in the other match of the group, thus ending Sindhu's chances of making it to the semi-finals. Sindhu had won the 2018 edition.

Sindhu had lost 21-18, 18-21, 8-21 to Akane Yamaguchi in her first group match on Wednesday. Chen, on the other hand, had defeated beat He Bing Jiao 21-9, 21-18 in her first match. With two wins each from two, Chen and Yamaguchi qualified from Group A in the women's singles at BWF World Tour Finals.

On Thursday, the Indian shuttler was under pressure from the start as Sindu made a couple of unforced errors. That meant she was playing catchup for the rest of the first game, with Chen getting an 11-8 lead at the break.

From then on, Sindhu forced her comeback and won the game 22-20 with some excellent strokeplay and precise netplay.

In the second game, Sindhu started off strongly pushing her Chinese opponent on the backfoot with powerful smashes and smart manipulation of shuttle across the court. Chen managed to claw her way back after weathering the early storm and made it 5-5.

Even though Sindhu attempted to wrestle back momentum, Chen raced ahead to an 11-7 lead at the break. This time Chen rode her chances to take the second game 21-16.

It was all to play in the third and both Chen and Sindhu did not disappoint. The pair started the decider sparing but it was the Indian ace who managed to take a slim 11-10 lead into the break.

After the final break of the match, Chen took six straight points to take control of the game thanks to some exquisite strokeplay, winning it 21-12.

After the game, the head-to-head record between Chen Yu Fei and Sindhu reads 4-6 in favour of the Chinese.

Sindhu will take on He Bing Jiao in her last group match, with Chen taking on Yamaguchi. Sindhu's chances of qualifying for the semi-final at the World Tour Finals are hanging on a thread and she needs to first win her game. But in the past, she has lost nine times to He Bing Jiao with four of them coming in their last four encounters.