India’s campaign at the $200,000 India Open Super Series came to an end here Saturday after P.V. Sindhu and Anand Pawar lost their semifinal matches at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
Sindhu lost her women’s singles match against third seed Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 12-21, 6-21 in 31 minutes with the eighth seed hardly putting up a fight. In men’s singles action, Japanese sixth seed Kenichi Tago also made easy work of Pawar winning 21-16, 21-11 in 44 minutes.
Sindhu started the first game in dominating fashion leading 6-3 and then 9-6 aided by some accurate smashes which the former triple junior World Champion could not retrieve.
But thereon, World No.6 upped the ante. Ratchanok started playing aggressively smashing three back-to-back body smashes into Sindhu, picking up seven straight points and taking the lead to 13-9. The Hyderabadi somehow just could not recover from there and easily gave the game away.
Ratchanok, who defeated World No.2 Saina Nehwal in the All-England semis, destroyed Sindhu in the second game, not allowing her Indian opponent to score off her. And Sindhu failed to offer any kind of resistance.
Leading 9-3, the Asian Games silver medallist won seven straight points to go 16-3 up, opening up a 13 point lead. Cheered by the home crowd and continuously encouraged by coach Pullela Gopichand, Sindhu somehow managed to earn three points lobbing to the back of the court and then using deceptive drop shots.
However, it was not enough and the Thai won the next five points to seal her consecutive Super Series final. On Sunday, the third seed will face last year's runner-up and No.2 seed Juliane Schenk of Germany, who beat Aprilla Yuswandari of Indonesia 21-18, 21-18 in her semifinal match.
Earlier in the day in men’s singles, Pawar’s dream run came to an end losing to Japanese World No.9 Tago. Tago increased his career head-to-head to 2-0. The last time they played was at the Scottish International Championships way back in 2007.
The sixth seed proved too good for Pawar, who could not keep up with the pace. Pawar’s smashes were easily picked by Tago, who in-turn regularly aimed at Pawar while smashing which the Indian was unable to retrieve.
Tago was dominant from the back of the court hitting 23 smashes to Pawar’s 16. The Japanese was immaculate at the net also winning 13 points to Pawar’s three.
The sixth seed will next face top seed Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia, who beat Thai seventh seed Boonsak Ponsana.