In a contest where tempers flared high, India’s PV Sindhu went down 18-21, 19-21, 7-21 to long-time rival Carolina Marin to crash out of the 2023 Demark Open Super 750 women’s singles semi-final in Odense.

After a hard-fought first two games, the double Olympic medallist lost the decider rather tamely, but not before a heated exchange of words between the two shuttlers which saw the chair umpire show a yellow card to both for unsportmanlike conduct.

As Sindhu readied herself to receive while trailing 2-8 in the decider, Marin let out a shout to pump herself. The Indian pulled out from her position and chuckled before complaining to the umpire.

“She is shouting, I am allowing her to shout,” Sindhu was heard telling the umpire, who then warned her for delaying the proceedings.

Just moments later the Spaniard served before Sindhu got back to her position. The umpire had to interrupt again.

“You don’t serve before she is ready, let me handle it,” he told Marin.

Play eventually started and the Sindhu conceded the point, failing to return a smash from Marin. The two then collided with their racquets while trying to recover the shuttle and a war of words ensued.

Marin was visibly agitated at the incident as the Indian claimed the shuttle was on her side of the court.

“I am not hitting your racquet, It is on my court,” Sindhu contended.

“Can you see the camera?” three-time world champion Marin hit back before the umpire brought out the yellow card as a warning to both players.

Unfortunately for the Indian, from that point on, Marin ran away with the third game to register her 11th win in 16 matches against the Indian.

Early on in the contest, both the players matched each other shot for shot as Sindhu eked out an 11-10 lead at the first mid-game interval. The 2019 world champion continued to lead for most part of the contest but Marin stitched together four points in a row to take the first game 21-19 from the near side of court.

Sindhu then came out roaring in the second game as she opened up an 11-3 lead, before Marin won seven points in a row to threaten the Indian with a straight-games victory. Sindhu, however, found her rhythm even as her opponent saved three match points to win the second game 21-18 and force a decider.

This is Sindhu’s fifth loss in as many semi-final appearances this season. Though she is yet to reach a final in 2023, her recent run of form – she also reached the semi-final of Arctic Open Super 500 last week – is an encouraging sign.