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Singapore Open 2019: PV Sindhu Disappoints in Heavy Semi-final Loss to Okuhara

Singapore Open 2019: PV Sindhu crashed out of the tournament with a 7-21, 11-21 loss to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-final on Saturday.

Abreshmina Sayeed Quadri | News18 Sports

Updated:April 14, 2019, 12:49 AM IST
Singapore Open 2019: PV Sindhu Disappoints in Heavy Semi-final Loss to Okuhara
PV Sindhu failed in quest to make it to her first final of 2019. (Photo Credit: BAI)

Singapore: For anybody who has seen the previous contests between PV Sindhu and Nozomi Okuhara, the Singapore Open 2019 semi-final was a massive disappointment. Sindhu lost 7-21, 11-21 to Okuhara in a matter of 37 minutes to crash out of the tournament.

Just a little over half an hour before Sindhu vs Okuhara, the Singapore Open audience was treated to a brilliant women’s singles semi-final between world No.1 Tai Tzu Ying and world No.4 Akane Yamaguchi.

From the heights of that match, Sindhu’s semi-final against Okuhara was a nosedive. For the Japanese and Okuhara fans, it must have been a delight for them to see their star play as good as she was playing but for the Indians, it was a rude shock.

PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara, Singapore Open Semi-final: HIGHLIGHTS

Ever since winning the World Tour Finals in December, Sindhu has not been in the best of form and her second round defeat to Sung Ji Hyun in Malaysia was an alarming sign.

In the Malaysia Open, after losing the first game narrowly, Sindhu did not look interested in playing the second game and threw the shuttles away to crash out.

On Saturday, the view was not exactly that but the scoreline pretty much said the same.

Even though Sindhu had reached the semi-final in Singapore, she was not exactly convincing throughout the week.

While she blazed to a victory in the first round, she was stretched by Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt (Round 2) and China’s Cai Yanyan (quarter-final).

That she managed to advance despite facing adverse conditions should have been a boost for Sindhu but the semi-final vs Okuhara showed none of that.

Okuhara started the match at a massive pace winning the first five points before Sindhu could get ‘1’ ahead of her name on the scoreboard.

Okuhara did not drop the pace while Sindhu failed to keep up with Okuhara's agility and quality. She just failed to catch up with the Japanese.

And just like that, Sindhu went into the first game interval trailing 3-11. While Pullela Gopichand spoke to her a lot and told her things, Sindhu could not put any of that to practice and lost the first game 21-7.

Interestingly, commentator Gillian Clark here made a mention that she was wondering if Sindhu was distracted by her off-field commitments in India. From fashion shows and aircraft ride to advertisements, she wondered if Sindhu had got distracted from badminton.

The story did not change at all in the second game as Sindhu struggled to control the shuttles, throwing them either long or wide. If she was not playing the shuttles out, she was hitting them in the net.

On the contrary, Okuhara stayed disciplined. Even though Sindhu was losing by a huge margin, Okuhara never looked like she put her foot off the pedal and instead kept having a go at the Indian.

Without much fight, Sindhu went down in a highly disappointing manner.

Okuhara will take on Tai Tzu in the final on Sunday while Sindhu will have to sit away and ponder upon her game, her body language and her mindset.

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