Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu crashed out of the 2021 Indonesia Masters badminton tournament after losing to Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-finals of the women’s singles event, here on Saturday.
The reigning world champion wasn’t at her usual best and lost 13-21 9-21 in a one-sided contest that lasted for just 32 minutes.
The two-time Olympic medallist struggled with keeping her returns in right from the start and she never recovered from an early deficit. On the other hand, Yamaguchi got a great dip on her shots, often catching Sindhu out at the net and as the Japanese shuttler registered a comfortable win.
This was Sindhu’s first loss to Akane in 2021. She had earlier beaten Yamaguchi in the All England Open quarter-finals and during her bronze-medal run at Tokyo 2020.
The Japanese will now face South Korea’s An Seyoung or Phittayaporn Chaiwan of Thailand as she chases her third World Tour title of 2021.
This was also Sindhu’s second-straight loss in the semis at a World Tour event, having lost to Sayaka Takahashi at the French Open last month.
Meanwhile, former world No 1 Kidambi Srikanth will play against reigning World Tour Final champion Anders Antonsen in the men’s singles semi-final, later in the day.