03.53 pm: That was all a bit flat overall from Sindhu. Having had some tournament time behind her back, having taken the first game & leading 11-9 in the 2nd, she just let her guard down. Missed opportunity in Paris. Credit to Takahashi for her superb turnaround but the wait for a title continues for Sindhu on the BWF tour. Stay tuned for the report and highlights on our page. Follow Scroll.in’s badminton coverage here.

Here’s how the final game panned out:

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 12-21 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu saves one but Sayaka nails another down the line towards Sindhu’s backhand, the weapon that came in so handy for her all match, she clinches the match. Sindhu’s wait for a BWF tour title continues.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 11-20 Sayaka Takahashi: 9 match points.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 11-19 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu has the serve back at 11-17 with a good down-the-line smash but again gives it back. Sayaka 2 points away.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 10-17 Sayaka Takahashi: The commentator reckons the body language is worrying from Sindhu, she seems a bit out of it. Sayaka dictating tempo again.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 10-16 Sayaka Takahashi: A brilliant backhand winner from Sindhu, and now a brilliant forehand from Sayaka. Sindhu playing better now but the Japanese has just been relentless.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 9-14 Sayaka Takahashi: Oh dear, Sindhu gets the serve back on an error from Sayaka but gives it straight back again with a bad error of her own.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 8-13 Sayaka Takahashi: sindhu gets the serve back as a lift goes long and she she needs a series of points here. But nope, not happening. Another powerful smash from Sindhu and she leads 13-8.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 6-11 Sayaka Takahashi: Change of ends... Sayaka Takahashi on a run of six straight points.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 6-11 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu is rattled, Takahashi controlling the game big time. Every rally seems to be Sindhu on the backfoot, trying to stay alive but Sayaka seems to have two three options every point.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 6-6 Sayaka Takahashi: Had a feeling this was going to be close... 5-5 in the decider. Sayaka Takahashi seems to have the edge at the moment, errors or winners they are happening from the Japanese racket. Well, actually the errors are happening from Sindhu too more often now. As the commentator points out, unlike a WS match usually, longer rallies have been absent.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21, 4-4 Sayaka Takahashi: A good start is imperative in the decider and Sindhu will hope to have an edge before the change of ends and she finishes from the side she struggled. A couple of come ons! from the Indian and that is good to see, she seemed flat at the end of the 2nd. From 2-4 down though, Sayaka plays two top points to level things again.

Here’s how the second game panned out:

Courtesy BWF TS

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-21 Sayaka Takahashi: DECIDER! Sayaka Takahashi does brilliantly since the mid-game interval and it is time for the third game. Her aggression pays off and Sindhu looked a bit shaky on defence.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-20 Sayaka Takahashi: Sensational crosscourt block gives 4 game points for Sayaka.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 16-19 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu gets the serve back and then plays a superb push to the backcourt that lands just in. 16-18. The Indian misses her smash next point, looking tired while playing that shot.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 14-18 Sayaka Takahashi: Another point for Sayaka going with a smash targetting Sindhu’s backhand, that has proved so helpful for her today. Then a brilliant point at the net, sensational crosscourt drop. And another! Big lead for her now.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 14-15 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu retakes the serve and then responds with a superb down the line forehand smash to make it a one point game.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 12-15 Sayaka Takahashi: A spate of points for Sayaka after the interval. She has increased the tempo and seems to have decided attack is the best form of getting points. All her since the break, three points in front.

If we got it right, coach Park is asking Sindhu to not make errors and control the points. Let Sayaka make the mistakes.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 11-9 Sayaka Takahashi: Great net play from Sindhu, lovely use of the spinning shots and she finishes off the point by smashing a bad lift, 10-7. And then brilliant defence from Sayaka to make it 9-10. But the Japanese sends a lift long and it is a 11-9 lead for the Indian in the interval.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 9-6 Sayaka Takahashi: We saw this is in the Olympics too. Sindhu has really worked on her defence and especially the body smashes that her opponents tend to go for. That is on display once again here as she defends a rally brilliantly and wins the point. Then a great drop shot to take a three-point lead.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 6-5 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu pulled ahead 6-3 and Sayaka fights back to make it 6-6.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 5-2 Sayaka Takahashi: Some gamesmanship from both shuttlers. Takahashi wants the shuttle changed, Sindhu says no. Twice! And more attacking intent from the Indian too.

PV Sindhu 21-18, 2-2 Sayaka Takahashi: More good exchanges at the start of the second game. Serves change hands.

PV Sindhu 21-18 Sayaka Takahashi: Clutch from PV Sindhu! Sayaka Takahashi made her life hard but at the business end, the Indian upped her game and fired in a series of smashes to eventually take the opening game 21-18.

Courtesy: BWF TS

PV Sindhu 20-18 Sayaka Takahashi: Four game points for PV Sindhu. And Sayaka Takahahshi saves two, the second at the end of a brilliant 29-shot rally! Great badminton from both players.

PV Sindhu 20-16 Sayaka Takahashi: Couple of big errors from Sayaka and a pumped up Sindh has 4 game points!

PV Sindhu 18-16 Sayaka Takahashi: the Indian keeps fighting back. Twice she has overturned 2-point deficits now. 16-16. Two really good smashes to win those points. And more attacking intent next point, Sindhu cashes in on a bad lift to smash another winner. Misjudgement at the net from Sayaka and it is a handy lead for Sindhu now.

PV Sindhu 14-16 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu being made to work hard for every point now. She is moving around the court well, staying in the points but when Takahashi attacks down the line on Sindhu’s backhand she is struggling. A lucky net chord see the Japanese go 16-14 in front.

PV Sindhu 14-13 Sayaka Takahashi: The round-the-head crosscourt smash coming in handy for Sindhu today. After Sayaka takes a 13-11 lead, Sindhu makes it 13-13. A brilliant rally for the next point, arguably the point of the of the match so far, and Sindhu takes the point after 27 shots to leave Sayaka on the floor.

PV Sindhu 10-11 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu plays two superb points from 8-10 down to make it 10-10 but it Sayaka Takahashi who takes a slender 11-10 lead into the mid-game interval.

PV Sindhu 10-10 Sayaka Takahashi:A break in play for Sindhu to get her bearings and off we go again. Two well constructed points from Sindhu and it is 10-10. A super overhead crosscourt smash from her.

PV Sindhu 8-10 Sayaka Takahashi: shuttlers at the moment. 8-8 in the opening game. And then Sayaka with a superb push to the backcourt for the lead! Sindhu wants to review but too late. It was well in though. Sindhu gets a shuttle on the face next point! Sayaka had an open court with Sindhu on the floor but hit it straight at the Indian. Apologies immediately from the Japanese.

PV Sindhu 7-7 Sayaka Takahashi: Great attacking intent from both players at the start of this match. Sindhu has a 7-5 lead after the early exchanges but Sayaka makes it 7-7 on the back of a forehand error from Sindhu.

PV Sindhu 5-4 Sayaka Takahashi: Sindhu is looking to reach her 2nd final on tour in 2021. She has the serve back at 3-4 in the opening game. Good judgement on the back line from the Indian to take a 5-4 lead after trailing 2-4.

PV Sindhu 1-0 Sayaka Takahashi: The Indian star will kick things off, serving from near to far side.

It’s PV Sindhu time in Paris. A 8th meeting between Sindhu and Takahashi, with the Indian leading 4-3 on H2H. Players are walking out on court.

02.24 pm: Superb from the Japanese pair against the top seeds to close out the match in straight games. Now time for another Japan star on court with Takahashi taking on Sindhu.

02.22 pm: The Thai pair have a game point to force a decider But Watanabe and Higashino defend it brilliantly and it is 20-20 in the 2nd game.

02.15 pm: The mixed doubles match between Japan and Thailand could be over soon if the Japanese pair can close it in straight games, Sindhu in action next.

Sindhu’s win against Busanan in the quarterfinal was not on the TV Court. Here’s the highlight clip from her previous match:

02.10 pm: The last three meetings between Sindhu and Takahashi

PV Sindhu Sayaka Takahasi
World ranking 7 15
Head to head (Matches: 7) 4 3
CAREER W-L 351-150 (501) 238-109 (347)
THIS YEAR W-L 17-8 (25) 7-2 (9)

01.55 pm: Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the French Open Super 750 women’s singles semifinal where reigning world champion PV Sindhu takes on Japanese left-hander Sayaka Takahashi.

In the quarterfinal on Friday, Sindhu, seeded third, scripted a convincing 21-14, 21-14 win over eighth-seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan in 38 minutes to extend her dominating head-to-head record against the Thai to 14-1. The 26-year-old from Hyderabad had beaten Busanan at Denmark Open also, last week.

Sindhu is the last Indian standing at the event in Paris.

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