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Wrong Line Calls, Poor Body Language: How PV Sindhu Lost in Malaysia Open 2019

Malaysia Open 2019: PV Sindhu's body language gave in her state of mind as she lost in straight games to Sung Ji Hyun in the Round of 16.

Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri | News18 Sports

Updated:April 5, 2019, 11:13 AM IST
Wrong Line Calls, Poor Body Language: How PV Sindhu Lost in Malaysia Open 2019
PV Sindhu crashed out of Malaysian Open 2019 with a straight games loss to Sung Ji Hyun in last 16. (Photo Credit: BAI)

PV Sindhu had a very disappointing end to her Malaysia Open 2019 campaign in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday as she lost her third straight match to Sung Ji Hyun of Korea.

One mistake after the other, low confidence and shoddy body language – these defined Sindhu’s performance in the Malaysia Open last 16.

It was an upset even though Sindhu had lost her previous match against Sung Ji. The Korean is the world No.10 according to the latest BWF rankings while Sindhu is ranked sixth in the world. Yet, Sindhu played like an amateur in the second game.

Sindhu lost 18-21, 7-21 in just 43 minutes to Sung Ji, bringing an unceremonious end to her campaign. The last two times that Sindhu lost to Sung Ji (in All England Championships 2019 and Hong Kong Open 2018) were both close matches, where the two fought tooth and nail.

On Thursday however, it looked like Sindhu almost gave up in the second game as Sung Ji trailblazed into the quarter-finals.


Did She Learn From Her Previous Mistakes?

Sung Ji Hyun’s strategy against Sindhu on Thursday was reminiscent of what she had done just a month ago in Birmingham.

Sindhu and Sung Ji had met in the first round of All England on March 6, 2019. Sung Ji had come with renewed vigour against Sindhu that day – some fresh strokes, a more solid defence and just patient play.

Sindhu had been trapped in Sung Ji’s web of patience. Sindhu did break her way out of the web in the second game that she took by a close scoreline of 22-20. But Sung Ji did not change her plans, stuck to throwing back each shuttle and pouncing on her chances and Sindhu lost.

On Thursday, the strategy remained the same for Sung Ji, the only difference being Sindhu made far too many mistakes.

Huge Line Calls Go Wrong:

PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu failed to give Sung Ji Hyun a fight in the second game of their Round of 16 match at Malaysia Open. (Photo Credit: BAI)

PV Sindhu has a big weakness – her line judgement. Time and again, Sindhu makes a number of errors in her line calls. She is also not the best of Hawk Eye challenger on the circuit.

Thursday’s match was full of such errors for Sindhu.

Not only did Sindhu fluffed her own line with shots, she assumed Sung Ji’s shuttles were going out. She just could not judge the drift.

Sindhu needs to better her line calls. In the first game, from trailing 16-19 to fighting to 18-19, Sindhu made a wrong line call and ended up giving Sung Ji the game point – a moment that completely changed the complexion of the match.

A Poor Body Language:

If Sindhu’s errors let slip the match from her racquet, her body language lost her the match even before the shuttle had touched her weapon.

Sindhu was fighting it out in the first game against Sung Ji even when the Korean was finding her strokes well towards the end.

But the moment, Sindhu lost the first game, her shoulders drooped down and her body language completely gave in her state of mind.

Sindhu is known as an expressive player on court. Unlike Kidambi Srikanth, Sindhu’s face tells the story of the court. But on Thursday, it was a completely different Sindhu that people saw.

Known for her fighting spirit (that she has displayed innumerable time), Sindhu’s body language went for a ride on Thursday and Sung Ji Hyun made the best of those moments.

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