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Sindhu surrenders to Okuhara


 
 SINGAPORE, April 13: PV Sindhu looked awfully out of form as she surrendered without a fight to former world champion Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles semifinals to draw curtains on India’s campaign at the Singapore Open here on Saturday.

Sindhu, a Rio Olympics silver medallist, lost 7-21, 11-21 to World No. 3 Okuhara in a lop-sided contest.

Sindhu had won the last two times they played each other and overall enjoyed a slight 7-6 advantage in the head-to-head record with Okuhara.

The duo had played an epic final at 2017 World Championship that had clocked 110 minutes and is considered one of the best women’s singles match in the history of badminton.

Since that marathon World Championship final, Sindhu and Okuhara have played each other six times and the Indian won four times.

But on Saturday, Sindhu looked completely out of sort as just 15 minutes into the match and she was crestfallen after meekly surrendering the first game following a heap of unforced errors, mainly at the net and sidelines.

While in-form Okuhara showed great control, Sindhu looked low in confidence and lacked the patience to engage her rival in long rallies.

After the change of sides, Sindhu lagged 1-3 but she recovered to make it 4-4. Okuhara then changed the pace of the rallies and gathered six straight points, which included two precise lifts at the backline and also a prompt net return. – PTI

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