World Tour Finals: Already qualified for semis, Sindhu loses her final group match to Chochuwong

by IANS |

Bali (Indonesia), Dec 3 (IANS) Ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu, who has already qualified for the semi-finals of the 2021 BWF World Tour Finals, lost to Pornpawee Chochuwong of Thailand in her third and final group A women's singles match, here on Friday.

Two-time Olympic medallist went down fighting 12-21, 21-19, 14-21 world no 10 Chochuwong, in a match that lasted an hour and 11 minutes. With this loss, Sindhu finished runners-up in group A and will face either Pornpawee Chochuwong or the Group B winner Akane Yamaguchi in the top four.

Heading into the match, both Sindhu and Chochuwong had already confirmed their semis berths and were playing for the top position in Group A.

Starting the proceedings, the Thai shuttler controlled the rallies and kept Indian on the backfoot. Down 6-11 at the mid-game interval, Sindhu tried to take control of the net but Chochuwong countered with some impeccably-placed shots to win the first game.

Reigning badminton world champion took control early in the second game and even took a handy 12-6 lead but Chochuwong fought back to level it up at 16-16. In the end, Sindhu won the game 21-19 and forced a decider.

In the third and decisive game, Sindhu couldn't apply enough pressure and it was Chochuwong, who won the match in an hour and 11 minutes.

The 26-year old Indian had beaten Denmark's Line Christophersen and Germany's Yvonne Li in her first two group matches.

Sindhu, along with Lakshya Sen, in men's singles, will be India's only representatives in the knockout rounds.

Young Lakshya qualified for the semi-final after finishing second in Group A of men's singles behind Tokyo champion Viktor Axelsen. With world No 1 Kento Momota of Japan and Denmark's Rasmus Gemke withdrawing from the tournament,Lakshya Sen and Viktor Axelsen qualified automatically.

Meanwhile, former world No 1 Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the competition following a 19-21, 14-21 loss to Malaysia's Lee Zii Jia in his final match in men's singles Group B. Srikanth won his opening match against Toma Junior Popov but lost the next two against Thailand's Kunlavut Vitidsarn and Jia respectively to finish third in his group.

India's women's doubles pair of Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy also finished their campaign, with a 21-19, 9-21, 21-14 win over English shuttlers Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith in their final group encounter. The Indian duo were already eliminated from the tournament after losing their first two matches.

India's men's doubles duo Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, had pulled out of the tournament after their first match due to an injury to Satwik.

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