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Rusty PV Sindhu Bows Out of Denmark Open Badminton

PV Sindhu, returning to action for the first time after her bronze-winning performance at Tokyo Olympics, lost in straight games to An Se-young of South Korea in the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open.
PV Sindhu at denmark open

(File image) Badminton player PV Sindhu.

PV Sindhu, featuring in her first tournament after the bronze-medal winning performance at the Tokyo Olympics, lost in the quarterfinals of the Denmark Open. Sindhu lost 11-21, 12-21 to World No. 8 An Se-young of South Korea in Odense. 

Se-young has been a tricky opponent for Sindhu. She has played the Korean once prior to Friday, and had lost that match in straight games as well. That was two years back. The narrative did not change much for the reigning world champion.

Sindhu, who took a break to rejuvenate after peaking for the season at the Olympics, seemed out of rhythm in the match. She couldn't find a way to answer the attacking game of the Korean.

Also Read | No Team Would be Easy at Junior World Cup, Says Senior Coach Graham Reid

Se-young made a superb start and took just six minutes to grab a seven-point lead. Sindhu was desperately trying to control the net exchanges but in the process committed errors with the Korean showing great athleticism to return everything thrown at her.

Se-young, meanwhile, dominated the forecourt and played some exceptional shots, including diving forehand returns, to extend her lead to 16-8 before earning 10 game points. She sealed the opening game when the Indian committed another error.

Sindhu changed her approach in the second game, trying high lifts. However, the errors crept in too, while she also struggled to stick to her gameplan against the relentless Korean. After trailing by just one point, 7-9, she slipped to 8-11 at the break.

Also Read | No Team Would be Easy at Junior World Cup, Says Senior Coach Graham Reid

It was one-way traffic after the interval. Se-young jumped to 20-10 in what seemed like a blink of an eye, wresting the momentum of the match from Sindhu, who saved two match points before committing another error.

On Thursday, Sameer Verma beat World No.3 Anders Antonsen of Denmark to storm into the quarterfinals. Sameer, who had qualified for the World Tour Finals in 2018 after winning three titles, outwitted local star Antonsen 21-14, 21-18 in a 50-minute battle.

The 27-year-old from Madhya Pradesh will lock horns with 33-year-old Tommy Sugiarto, a bronze winner at the 2014 World Championships.

Lakshya Sen, the other Indian in the men’s draw, bowed out of the Super 1000 tournament in the second round, thrashed 21-15, 21-7 by Olympic champion Viktor Axelsen.

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