Sindhu's gallant fight ends in agony in Hong Kong Open
Kowloon: P V Sindhu's gallant fight ended in agony as she suffered a second successive loss to world no. 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei at the summit clash of the $400,000 Hong Kong Super Series on Sunday.
Playing her fifth straight tournament, Sindhu, who had a 3-7 head-to-head record against Tai before the match, never lacked in fitness and fought throughout the match before going down 18-21 18-21 to the defending champion in a 44-minute women's singles final. This is Sindhu's second loss in the four finals that she reached this season. She had lost to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara at the World Championship final, while clinched two titles at India and Korea this year.
In the opening game which lasted 21 minutes, Tai moved to a 3-0 lead early on before Sindhu made a good judgement at the baseline to log the first points.
However, Tai unleashed her wide repertoire of strokes and varied the pace well to lead 7-2.
Sindhu then started to dominate the rallies by using her deep clears and drew the Taiwanese close to the net. She used her reach to catch the shuttle early and placed it in difficult positions to narrow the deficit to 6-7.
A deceptive net return gave Tai a point. The Taiwanese then produced a smash on the deep backhand corner of Sindhu and moved to 10-7. Sindhu unleashed a body smash to perfection before Tai's flat straight return bamboozled the Indian.
At the break, Tai had a three-point advantage.
After the breather, Tai committed a couple of unforced errors at both the flanks, while Sindhu came up with a backhand return near the net to reduce the margin to 10-13, but Tai quickly recovered to extend her domination to 16-13.
Sindhu tried to anticipate her deceptive rival and put Tai in awkward positions a few times, but she hit long or at the net to allow the Taiwanese lead 18-14.