PV Sindhu lost her women’s singles semifinal against China’s reigning Olympic champion Chen Yufei in straight games as India’s campaign at the Thailand Open Super 500 in Bangkok on Saturday.
Sindhu, who defeated world No 1 and reigning world champion Akane Yamaguchi in the quarterfinals on Friday, lost 17-21, 16-21 in 43 minutes against Chen.
In the final, the Chinese third seed will face top seed Tai Tzu Ying who beat seventh seed Ratchanok 10-21, 21-13, 21-19 Intanon in a thrilling match.
After being locked at 3-3 initially, Sindhu trailed 7-11 at the interval in the first game. Chen then pulled further ahead and brought up five match points. Sindhu saved two of those but the Chinese player converted the third and took the lead in the match. Having chosen to start from the near side, Sindhu didn’t get her radar right in the opening game and the control of shuttle was lacking.
Sindhu played from her favourable side in the second game and started strongly to take a 6-3 lead before leading 11-8 at the interval. However, when a decider seemed likely, Chen launched an incredible fightback from there and won five straight points to take the lead before going on to close out the match.
Sindhu, who has won two Super 300 titles this season – at the Syed Modi International and Swiss Open – will next compete at the Indonesia Masters Super 500, scheduled to be held in Jakartka from June 7 to 12.
Coming into the semifinal, Sindhu, seeded sixth, led 6-4 in her head-to-head record against Chen. But the 26-year-old from Hyderabad had lost to Chen the last time they faced off at the 2019 BWF World Tour Finals. This now makes it two defeats in a row for the India against Chen.