Sindhu loses to Tai Tzu in semifinals, to fight for bronze now

TOKYO: Reigning world champion P V Sindhu’s hopes of securing India’s first ever Olympic gold in badminton came crashing down as she slumped to a straight-game defeat against world no.1 Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei in the women’s singles semifinals here on Saturday.
The 26-year-old silver-medallist from the Rio Games, however, remained in the hunt for a bronze and will be competing against China’s He Bing Jiao in the third place play-off at Musashino Forest Plaza on Sunday.
One of the most consistent players, who has claimed medals in all big-ticket events in the last five years, Sindhu couldn’t counter Tai Tzu’s deception with her aggressive game, going down 18-21 12-21 here.
“I’m a bit sad because it’s the semifinals, but I tried my best, it’s just not my day. I fought until the end,” said Sindhu after the match.
“In the second game I gave away a huge lead but still I was fighting back because you never know, it can change at any moment. It’s the Olympics, you have to fight until the last point and I have done that.
“I was prepared for her skills, so I don’t think that troubled me a lot. At the end of the day the level of the semifinals is going to be really high – you can’t expect easy points. I just couldn’t be on the winning side.”
This is Sindhu’s 14th loss to the Taiwanese second seed in 19 meetings, having also lost to her in the last three face-offs.
On her bronze medal match, Sindhu said: “It’s going to be a bit sad. I need to go back and relax and prepare for tomorrow because it is not over yet. I still have a chance.
“…I hope I can give my best. It just wasn’t my day (today), but I’m going to try it again tomorrow.”
There is very little margin of error against a player of the calibre of Tai Tzu, who has been the most consistent shuttler in the last five years and is known for her deceptive strokes and immaculate footwork.

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