PV Sindhu falls after tough fight in French Open badminton semis

Despite winning the opening game, PV Sindhu lost to Sayaka Takahashi 2-1.

By Rahul Venkat

India’s PV Sindhu was ousted in the semi-finals of the French Open 2021 after an hour-long marathon at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris on Saturday.

PV Sindhu lost to Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi 21-18, 16-21, 12-21 in the semi-final of the women’s singles. The Japanese shuttler will either take on An Seyoung of South Korea or compatriot Akane Yamaguchi in the final on Sunday.

The two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu was the last remaining Indian badminton player at the BWF World Tour event.

Starting on the faster side of the court, PV Sindhu struggled with her long returns but was lethal with her cross-court smashes. However, she trailed 10-11 at the mid-game break.

PV Sindhu, the reigning world champion, was behind 14-16 when she turned the tables, smashing her way to three consecutive points and soon took the first game.

The Indian ace began well in the second game, recovering Takahashi’s body shots and executing a few winners down the line to lead 11-9 at the mid-game break.

The Japanese shuttler won a flurry of points after the break to lead 18-14 and despite PV Sindhu winning a couple, Takahashi forced a decider with some exquisite drop shots.

The Indian shuttler continued to struggle against Takahashi’s soft shots in the third game and made a few errors with her returns, conceding a 14-9 lead.

PV Sindhu failed to gain a foothold in the decider as Sayaka Takahashi’s confidence grew with every point she won and she sealed her spot in the final with a smash down the line.

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