Arctic Open 2023: PV Sindhu makes semifinal exit, loses to Wang Zhiyi
Struggling to cope with Wang Zhiyi's faster game, flat exchanges and longer rallies, Sindhu lost her Arctic Open semifinal 12-21, 21-11, 7-21 in 63 minutes.
PV Sindhu, on Saturday, suffered a crushing 12-21, 21-11, 7-21 defeat against Wang Zhiyi of China in the semifinal of the Arctic Open Super 500 in Vantaa, Finland.
This was the third time Sindhu lost in the semifinal on the BWF World Tour in 2023. Sindhu, who played in the Madrid Spain Masters final in April, has not yet won a title this season.
Zhiyi, who was meeting Sindhu for the first time in more than a year, delivered a clinical performance. Zhiyi lost to Sindhu in the Singapore Open final in July 2022. Apparently, it was the last title Sindhu won on the World Tour.
World no. 11 Zhiyi reaped the rewards for her swift court coverage and deft placement of the shuttle on Saturday.
Opening the match, in the first game, Sindhu took a 5-2 lead before Zhiyi drew level at 6-6. The Chinese shuttler soon grabbed an 11-9 lead at the interval, with Sindhu assessing the Chinese player's toss wrong.
Zhiyi would quickly break away to a 15-10 lead, troubling Sindhu with her faster movement, flat smashes and engaging her in longer rallies. Sindhu, at one point, got cold feet against Zhiyi's crisscrossing game. Zhiyi would win the game 21-12 with a jump smash.
In the second game, Sindhu turned out to be a completely changed player - smashing, flicking and dismantling Zhiyi's game with superb placements.
Sindhu led 11-4 at the interval as her crosscourt smashes went unanswered by Zhiyi. With the Indian player growing in confidence, she raced away to a 17-8 lead before taking the game 21-11.
In the decider, Sindhu again looked off-colour even though she was the one to get a 4-3 lead in the game.
Zhiyi baffled Sindhu with her quick game and took an 11-5 lead at the interval. It was one-way traffic after the break, with Sindhu winning barely two points as the Chinese player left her puzzled with fast and flat exchanges. Under pressure, Sindhu also made multiple unforced errors to concede the game 21-7 and exit the tournament.
Zhiyi will play fellow Chinese player Han Yue in the final on Sunday. Han Yue defeated Pornpawee Chochuwong in the first semifinal.