Korea Open: Sindhu fails to decode An Seyoung, campaign ends at semifinals


PTI, Apr 9, 2022, 9:54 AM IST

India’s P V Sindhu suffered her fourth successive defeat to the young An Seyoung to sign off her women’s singles campaign at the semifinal stage of the Korea Open Super 500 badminton tournament here on Saturday.

The third seeded Indian tried everything at her disposal but couldn’t find a way to get past the world number four Korean, going down 14-21 17-21 in 48 minutes.

The 20-year-old An Seyoung gave ample display of her athleticism with her diving returns to keep the rallies alive and didn’t falter in her precision, leaving Sindhu to do the catch-up job from the start.

The second seeded Korean rode on her superb retrieving skills to gallop to a 6-1 lead early on. Next she dived twice in quick succession on both flanks to blunt Sindhu’s attack and sealed it with a delightful drop.

Two powerful returns took Sindhu to 4-7 but An Seyoung came up with two precise returns, a body blow and then produced another over-the-head return to gain a healthy 11-6 lead at the break.

Sindhu tried to step up the pace but An Seyoung displayed a wide array of shots to always stay a step ahead. The Indian got a few points with her smashes but she couldn’t put pressure on the Korean.

An Seyoung disposed off two weak lifts from Sindhu and then grabbed eight game points, two of which were saved by the Indian before the Korean unleashed a lightening straight smash to seal it comfortably.

Sindhu was off to a good 3-0 start after the change of ends but An Seyoung soon surged ahead to 5-3. The Indian grabbed two quick points before the match became a tight battle with Sindhu’s precise forecourt return being matched by the booming smashes from the Korean.

A long shot was followed by a net winner from Sindhu to keep the scores tied at 9-9 but the Korean was relentless in her retrievals and soon moved to a two-point advantage when Sindhu shot one to the net.

Sindhu kept breathing down the neck of her opponent at 12-14, with the Korean going long and to the net.

A service error from An Seyoung kept it 14-16 before the Korean produced a cross court return and, with Sindhu also miscuing a couple of shots, it was 18-14 advantage for the local hope.

Sindhu reeled off three points on the trot to keep the match alive but An Seyoung sent one away from the backhand of the Indian, who went to net next to gift three match points to the Korean.

An Seyoung unleashed another smash to seal it and go down on her knees in joy.

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