India's challenge at the All England Badminton Championship ended on Friday as ace badminton player P V Sindhu conceded a defeat against Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 21-12, 15-21, 13-21 at the quarterfinals in Birmingham.
The Indian World no. 6 showed good composure in her gameplay and took an early lead of 3-0. Some vigorous backhand shots took the lead to 7-2 against the World no. 4. At interval, Sindhu led with a five-point lead of 11-6. At a point, Sindhu was cruising to win the game with a splendid lead of 18-8. Okuhara couldn't go past the errors she was making adding points for Sindhu, who eventually won it 21-12.
The second game started with Okuhara showing heavy tenacity to take a lead of 5-2. Sindhu was falling short of replying to Okuhara's powerful returns. At the interval, the Japanese lead 8-11. Okuhara showed a renewed vigour and steamed off Sindhu edge with a seven point lead of 9-16. Sindhu showed resilience and picked up two quick points fo 12-18, and eventually lost 15-21.
Okuhara again took the early lead making Sindhu trail by 2-7 points. At interval, Sindhu trailed with six points at 6-11. The lead widened further as the Hyderabadi lass felt helpless against a confident Okuhara who cruised towards winning the with a comfortable nine-point margin at 7-16. Eventually, Okuhara went on winning the tie and marched into the semi-final.
P V Sindhu (Image: Hindustan Times)
Earlier, Sindhu kept India's singles challenge alive as she defeated Sung Ji Hyun of Korea in straight games to book a place in the women's singles quarterfinals in Birmingham on Thursday. Sindhu needed 49 minutes to beat world No. 12 Sung Ji Hyun 21-19, 21-15. With this win, Sindhu bettered her head-to-head record to 9-8 against the Korean.
The season's first Super 1000 event witnessed a dramatic build-up in the wake of the COVID19 outbreak, which has claimed over 4000 lives and infected more than 100,000 people globally. In the United Kingdom itself, the number of infected people has gone past 300 with five deaths so far.
The USD 1,100,000 BWF world tour event offers 12,000 ranking points to the winner. Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand was the last Indian to win the championship, in 2001.