Sindhu’s dream run ends in semis

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P.V. Sindhu on Saturday settled for a bronze medal at the World Championships after suffering a straight-sets defeat against Thai world number three Ratchanok Inthanon in the semi-finals of the prestigious event.

World no. 12 Sindhu, playing in her maiden World Championships, had notched up stunning victories over two Chinese players in the run-up to the semifinals but failed to get past Ratchanok, going down 10-21, 13-21 in 36 minutes.
The loss notwithstanding, Sindhu became the first woman shuttler from India to clinch a medal at the mega-event.
Said Sindhu: “I am a bit upset after the loss but I am happy to win the bronze. It was my first World Championship and it’s a big victory for me.
“Actually the World Championship draw was tough for me because all the good players were there and I knew I had to play really well. I had to play Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian, but I didn’t think that I will go on to lose.
“I was coming from an injury and missed two tournaments, so I just wanted to give my best, my 100 per cent,” she added.
The 18-year-old said she was keen to work on her weaknesses which proved to be her bane on the day and do well in the upcoming tournaments.
“Next I have the Indian Badminton League and then there are many other tournaments and I want to do better in these events. I would look to work on my weaknesses in the training,” she said.
On the day, Ratchanok mixed her strokes well and moved smoothly across the court. Sindhu, on the other hand, committed too many unforced errors allowing her opponent to move into the interval at 11-4 in the opening game.
Ratchanok used her deceptive shots to flummox Sindhu, who struggled in anticipation. The Indian failed to gauge the Thai girl’s game and also ended up hitting the shuttle wide and out to allow Ratchanok to move to 19-10.
Ratchanok then moved to a 10-point lead with a straight baseline smash and with Sindhu hitting out again, the Thai had the upper-hand after the opening game.
Sindhu struggled with her strokes in the second game too as her returns found the net as Ratchanok opened up a 8-1 lead.
A few points at the net saw Sindhu make it 5-10 but another unforced error by the Indian took Ratchanok to 11-5 at the break.
Ratchanok, also 18, is the first shuttler from her country to be assured of a silver at the World Championship.
Sindhu’s mentor and national coach Pullela Gopichand said: “Ratchanok played very well. She is very deceptive. Sindhu could not get into the groove.”

Lin, lee through to final
Defending world champion Lin Dan is through to the final after a shaky start against a fired-up Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam 21-17, 21-15.
Lin will face Malaysian world no. 1 Lee Chong Wei in the summit clash. Lee defeated China’s Du Pengyu 20-22, 21-12, 21-15 in a thrilling encounter.
The women’s singles will see top seed Li Xuerui of China take on Ratchanok.
But China will not achieve a third straight clean sweep of the world championships after their men’s doubles pair lost out to Indonesia.
“I haven’t played any world level matches over the past year and it’s unbelievable that I’ve got into the finals,” Lin said.

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