BRIMINGHAM: Indian hopes came to an end in the prestigious All England Championship as PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal crashed out in contrasting fashion in the quarterfinals here on Friday.
Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu failed to overcome World No 1 and top seed Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei, losing 14-21, 10-21 in 34 minutes at the Barclaycard Arena.
Eighth seed Saina, London Olympics bronze medallist, fought hard against South Korean Ji Hyun Sung but bowed out afer losing 20-22, 20-22 to the third seed.
In the first game, World No 5 Sindhu opened up a 10-7 lead but Tai Tzu fought back with her deceptive cross court returns to not only draw level but also take the lead with another acute angled stroke on Sindhu’s backhand.
Tai Tzu engaged in a fierce rally but it ended with Sindhu hitting the net. A sharp drop shot from back of court helped Sindhu to draw parity. But the Chinese Taipei player managed to surge to a 17-12 lead with the Indian hitting wide and long and at the net.
Sindhu tried to change the pace but Tai Tzu was always a step ahead and she eventually earned the bragging rights when the Indian lost a video referral.
After the change of ends, Tai Tzu once again opened up a narrow 6-2 lead with Sindhu’s strokes going to the net. The Indian was good but Tai Tzu was better.
The Chinese Taipei player’s movement, accuracy, timing and variety of strokes made her a difficult customer to tame. Tai Tzu thus marched to a 8-3 lead. Tai Tzu played with soft hands at the nets and extended her lead 11-5.
After the breather, Tai Tzu continued to gather points with her superb footwork and strokes even though Sindhu did pocket a few points here and there, but she was largely erratic with many strokes going long.
Another video referral went Tai Tzu’s way and she reached match point with a cross court smash, which Sindhu sent to the net and the Chinese Taipei girl came up with another razor-sharp smash to seal the match.