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PV Sindhu Loses Semi-final to Supanida Katethong in Thriller

India’s PV Sindhu lost to sixth-seeded Supanida Katethong of Thailand in the semi-final of the Yonex-Sunrise India Open 2022on Saturday.

The two-time Olympic medallist lost 14-21, 21-13, 10-21 in just 59 minutes.

“I gave her a huge lead from the beginning. In the third game after it was 6-6, I should have taken a few points but she continued to lead. She is a good player. I played at Bali against her, her strokes are deceptive. I should have controlled the shuttles,” Sindhu said after the match.

“At that time in Indonesia, my smashes were going to the corner or line but today my tosses and clears were going out or mid court and I was giving her chance to attack. It was just not my day and she played well. I have to work on my mistakes,” she added.

In the women’s singles semi-final, Sindhu found the going tough as her opponent from Thailand started aggressively and never allowed the pace to slacken. Supanida took control of the first game soon after the initial exchanges to take a 7-1 lead and maintained a steady lead, not allowing Sindhu, who struggled to get a rhythm going, to narrow the gap.

The second game was closely-fought with the Thai player catching up with Sindhu at 6-6 and 10-10 before the Indian claimed six consecutive points from 14-12 to win the game 21-13.

However, Supanida turned the tables on Sindhu in the decider and opened up a lead from 5-5 onwards to go on and win the third game 21-10.

Sindhu said the match turned against her at 6-6 in the decider when she had a chance of taking the lead but could not.

“In the third set, from the beginning it was almost 6-all, over there I left the lead. After that, I should have taken a few points but she controlled things. She is a good player and earlier I have played against her in Bali (Indonesia Open 2021) and she is very good. her strokes are very deceptive. Overall. I should have controlled the shuttle more, that’s what I felt,” said Sindhu.

Sindhu said she tried to hit the corners but unlike in their match in Indonesia, she could not execute the strokes properly on Saturday and the shuttle would either fall outside the court or sit-up midcourt, giving her Thai opponent a chance to take control of the rallies.

In another women’s singles semi-final, young Aakarshi Kashyap lost in straight games to second seed Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand, 24-26, 9-21 in a hard-fought 52-minute encounter.

The top Indian doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also booked a place in the final, beating the French combine of Fabien Delrue and William Villeger in straight games, 21-10, 21-18 on Saturday.

In the men’s doubles final of the USD 400,000 event, Rankireddy/Shetty will meet top-seeded Indonesian pair Mohammad Ahsan and Hendra Setiawan, who reached the summit clash by beating Malaysia’s Ong Yew Sin and Teo Ee Yi, 21-18, 21-18.

In other results, Indian women’s doubles pair of Haritha Manazhiyil Harinarayan and Ashna Roy lost 12-21 9-21 to fourth seeded Benyapa Aimsaard and Nuntakarn Aimsaard of Thailand.

India’s Lakshya Sen reached the final, coming back from a game down to beat Malaysia’s Tze Yong Ng 19-21, 21-16, 21-12 and set up a clash with World Champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore in the summit clash.

This is Sen’s maiden entry in the final of a BWF World Tour Super 500 event.

In the final, Sen will meet reigning World Champion Loh Kean Yew of Singapore, who progressed when his opponent Brian Yang of Canada pulled out complaining of sore throat and headache. Yang had tested negative in the mandatory Covid test but still decided to withdraw from the event.

(With inputs from IANS)

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