nozomi-okuhara

P.V. Sindhu loses in All England Open Badminton quarters on Last Friday

PV Sindhu’s lost to Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-11, 15-21, 13-21 in the All England Open quarterfinals at Arena Birmingham on Friday. No Indian had won the prestigious title after Pullela Gopichand in 2003.

PV Sindhu began on a brisk note taking the first game in just 18 minutes before the Japanese former world champion made a splendid recovery to upset the Indian by winning the next two games without breaking much sweat.

Nozomi Okuhara got off to an erratic start in the first game making several unforced errors allowing Sindhu to zoom ahead to a 7-2 lead. The Indian played some powerful down the line smashes and attacked the backhand of the Japanese shuttler. However, towards the end of the first game, Okuhara got into rhythm and started hitting lines with ease. The late surge in the first game bolstered the Japanese confidence in the second game.

Involving the Indian in long rallies and hardly allowing her to execute smashes, Okuhara build up a 7-3 lead. Sindhu worked her way back and reduced the lead to 5-7 with a couple of half smashes. Okuhara, who led 11-8, returned from the break and engaged the Indian with a 38-shot rally. Thereafter, it was Okuhara all the way as Sindhu was reduced to play the catch up. Confining the Indian to the back of the court, Okuhara powered ahead smashing the bird with precision to win consecutive points. From 13-9 she moved to 16-9 and then to 18-10 leaving little chance for the Indian to make a comeback.

The decider was no different as Okuhara called the shots as tired Sindhu faltered against the Japanese, who was brimming with lots of confidence and energy. The diminutive girl took an early 7-2 lead and never looked back. Okuhara will now play world No.1 Chen Yu Fei of China, who recovered after losing the first game to beat Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand 17-21, 21-15, 21-17.

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