Sindhu falters at semifinals again at All England championships    

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BIRMINGHAM, March 20 (PTI): Reigning world champion P V Sindhu suffered yet another semi final defeat at the prestigious All England Championships as she went down tamely in straight games to Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in the women’s singles here on Saturday.

Sindhu, the Olympic Silver medallist, couldn’t match the pace, power and precision of her younger world number 11 rival Chochuwong and lost 17-21 9-21 in a match that lasted 43 minutes.

The world no. 7 Indian had also lost at the semifinal at the 2018 edition as well.

Sindhu came into the semifinal contest with an overwhelming 4-1 head-to-head lead over the 23-year-old Chochuwong, whom she had beaten at the HSBC BWF World Tour Finals in January.

But all that statistics didn’t matter as Chochuwong showed immaculate defence and played at a searing pace to outclass the Indian.

On Friday night, Sindhu, seeded fifth, had defeated Japan’s third seed Akane Yamaguchi 16-21 21-16 21-19 in an intriguing quarterfinal match to make it to the last eight stage.

Sindhu had battled for an hour and 16 minutes to eke out her first win over world number five Yamaguchi in the last four meetings.

“I am playing against her after quite a long time. I’m sure she would have trained very hard. The match was a good, tough long match I would say,” she had said.

Sindhu, who had reached the finals at Swiss Open, played an aggressive game, matching Yamaguchi with her speed and retrieving skills but unforced errors allowed the Japanese to jump to an 11-6 lead, a deficit she couldn’t erase as the Japanese pocketed the first game.

After an error-prone start to the second game, Sindhu moved to 6-2 with some superb shots. She then led 8-4 with the Japanese missing the lines twice. Sindhu got five game points and won the game easily.

In the decider, Yamaguchi came back to make it 15-15 and then grab the lead with another superb return at 18-17.

Sindhu then made it 19-18 with a couple of points and then grabbed the match points with Yamaguchi going wide. The Japanese then hit the net as Sindhu won the match.


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