Bangkok: Star Indian shuttlers PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have lost their opening matches at the BWF World Tour Finals which started here Wednesday. Both Srikanth and PV Sindhu fought their hearts out before suffering close defeats in their respective group ‘B’ matches.
World Champion Sindhu produced a much-improved performance. However, she still lost to World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan 21-19, 12-21, 17-21. It was Sindhu’s 16th defeat to Tzu Ying in 21 meetings.
“It was a good match, there were no easy points. In the third game I came back and it was just one point difference at one stage. I broke my racket strings twice (during rallies) and that made a difference,” Sindhu said after the match. “It’s a tough group. I have to give 100 per cent,” she added.
Former World No.1 Srikanth too squandered an opening game advantage. He lost 21-15, 16-21, 18-21 to World No.3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark in a gruelling 77-minute contest.
Olympic silver medallist Sindhu had won this title in 2018. She will next play home favourites Ratchanok Intanon, who had handed her a humiliating defeat last week. Srikanth meanwhile will face fourth seed Wang Tzu Wei of Chinese Taipei, Thursday.
In the women’s singles, the opening game was a close fight. Both Sindhu and Tzu Ying were engaged in an enticing battle. Tzu Ying led 5-3 early on before grabbing an 11-8 advantage at the interval. as Sindhu lost a few points on the net. She extended her lead to 14-10. However, Sindhu caught up with Tzu Ying at 16 by winning five points on the run.
Tzu Ying again moved ahead but two precise smashes helped the Indian make it 19-19. She grabbed the game point with another precise return that kissed the backline. Sindhu then played a cross court return at the net which her opponent couldn’t reach, gaining the upper hand in the match.
Tzu Ying zoomed to a 6-0 lead in the second game. Sindhu from them on was always playing the chasing game. The Taiwanese closed out the game easily.
In the decider, Tzu Ying again led 6-3 but she stumbled to defensive errors as Sindhu levelled the score with a smash. However, the second seed Taiwanese held a 11-9 lead at the break. After the change of sides, Sindhu managed to keep the two-point difference till 13-15 before a lucky net cord and a weak return at the net by Sindhu gave Tzu Ying a 17-13 lead.
Sindhu narrowed it to 16-18 and then 17-19 before Tzu Ying sealed the contest with the Indian going to the net twice.