Badminton

PV Sindhu loses to world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in BWF World Tour Finals opener

PV Sindhu won the first game but couldn’t make the advantage count against the world No. 1 women’s singles player in her opening BWF World Tour Finals match.

By Utathya Nag ·

India’s PV Sindhu lost her first match of the BWF World Tour Finals on Wednesday after going down 21-19, 12-21, 17-21 to world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei. The two clashed in the first women’s singles Group B match in Bangkok.

Heading into the clash, Tai Tzu Ying was by far the player in better form, having reached the finals of both the Yonex and Toyota Thailand Opens earlier this month.

Comparatively, PV Sindhu exited the Yonex Thailand Open in the first round and managed a quarter-final appearance at the Toyota Thailand Open.

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. Otherwise, it was a good game. It’s a tough group. I have to give 100 per cent. - Pusarla V Sindhu

In the opening phases of the first game, PV Sindhu exhibited a few sparks of brilliance, hitting some immaculate cross-court smashes to pick up points. However, it was Tai Tzu Ying who was the more consistent of the two as she took an 11-8 lead into the first mid-game break of the match.

After the restart, PV Sindhu used her long reach well and kept chipping into Tai Tzu Ying’s lead and finally brought the score level.

In the business end of the game and the score tied 19-19, Tai Tzu Ying misjudged a PV Sindhu lift to be out and let it go, handing the Indian a game point chance. PV Sindhu took full advantage and wrapped up the closely-fought first game 21-19 to go 1-0 up.

Tai Tzu Ying responded well in the second game, racing to a 6-0 lead and continued pressing her early advantage to comfortably win it 21-12 and force the third game.

Watch: Highlights from PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth in BWF World Tour finals openers

Both PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth put up terrific battles in their openin...

With the momentum with her, Tai Tzu Ying continued dictating the play against her Indian opponent, troubling PV Sindhu with her drop shots near the net and took a two-point lead into the mid-game break.

PV Sindhu played some spirited badminton post the restart but Ying managed to hold her nerve to negate the Indian’s efforts. The world No. 1 won the third game 21-17 and consequently the match 2-1.

PV Sindhu’s next Group B match is against Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon.

Kidambi Srikanth lost his opening BWF World Tour Finals match against Anders Antonsen. Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF

Kidambi Srikanth loses against Anders Antonsen

In men’s singles Group B, Kidambi Srikanth endured a similar fate as PV Sindhu’s.

The Indian shuttler won the first game against his Danish opponent Anders Antonsen but eventually went down 21-15, 16-21, 18-21.

Kidambi Srikanth, playing with his ankle heavily taped after an injury forced him to pull out of the Toyota Thailand Open, dominated the world No. 3 in the opening game to take the lead.

The Dane, however, came right back and turned the tables in game two to level things up.

In the decider, Kidambi Srikanth looked the favourite in the early stages and even enjoyed a 11-9 lead going into the mid-game break. But the former world No. 1 couldn’t see it through as Anders Antonsen picked up points in batches of four and five and won the game to seal the match.

Lead photo: Badmintonphoto - Courtesy of BWF