Olympic silver-medallist P V Sindhu's quest for a second successive women's singles title ended in disappointment after she went down in straight games to Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying in the Hong Kong Open Super Series final here on Sunday.
The Indian lost 15-21 17-21 in a clash which lasted 41 minutes. It was sweet revenge for Tzu Ying, who had lost to Sindhu most recently in the Rio Olympic Games. She now leads 5-3 in the head-to-head record against the Indian.
World No. 3 and fourth seed Tzu Ying was in command of the match from the first game itself and produced a near-perfect all-round performance to be ahead 18-11.
She maintained the lead and grabbed the opening game without much of a trouble. The Indian, on the other hand, was found wanting in her net-play against a swift-moving rival.
The second game was fought on a more even keel with Sindhu stepping it up slightly but once again she struggled to match the pace and range of Tzu Ying's stroke-play.
Tzu Ying's ability to retrieve almost everything that Sindhu threw at her stood out. The Taipei girl's deft use of her wrist to control her shots was also admirable.
However, Sindhu did not let Tzu Ying to simply run away and went neck-and-neck till 10-10.
The Indian took the lead at 11-10 when Tzu Ying mishit a smash which landed outside. But Tzu Ying drew level and took the lead soon after the lemon break.
The Indian's much-admired never-say-die spirit kept her afloat for a couple of more points but her inability to break free proved to be the difference.