PV Sindhu's Australia Open campaign ended after the World No 4 was sent packing by World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying in a three-game thriller.
The 21-year-old shuttler from Hyderabad dominated the opening game before Tai staged a fine comeback to win the match with a 10-21, 22-20, 21-16 verdict in 60 minutes. Earlier, India's top-ranked shuttler Kidambi Srikanth continued his fine run after defeating compatriot B Sai Praneeth in straight games in the quarter-finals of the men's singles at the Australia Open.
Tai was left frustrated in the early stages of the game as a number of her forehand strokes landed wide while Sindhu was hitting flat smashes down the baseline to trouble the Chinese Taipei shuttler.
Tai, however, switched her position and controlled her shots from the mid-court in the second game to take a 4-1 lead before Sindhu clawed her way back to 8-8 and 9-9.
Sindhu then took a 13-10 lead only to see Tai win eight straight points to extend her lead to 18-14.
The 2017 India Open winner reached 20-19 but a net error allowed Tai to save the match point before she sent the match into the decider with a 22-20 win.
The final game was always going to be a cliffhanger as both shuttlers gave everything they had to outwit each other. After a strong start, Sindhu raced to a 14-10 lead but the Chinese Taipei ace wasted no time to level the scores at 15-all.
However, it was Tai who won 10 consecutive points en route her 21-16 win in the deciding game.
Easy task for Srikanth
Earlier, India's Srikanth, who played his third quarter-final game in his last five tournaments, booked his semi-final spot with a 25-23, 21-17 win in 43 minutes.
After starting the opening game on a strong note with a healthy lead of 9-6, Praneeth's errors allowed Srikanth to fight back and level the scores at 10-10. The duo was again neck-and-neck from there on at 13-13, before Praneeth took three straight points to make it 16-13. However, Srikanth turned around the match to win five straight points and make it 18-16.
Srikanth then raced to 20-17 but Praneeth clawed back to win four points on the trot to make it 21-20. From there on, an intense battle started as both the Indians saved two game points each, which saw Srikanth pocketing the game 25-23.
In the second game, Srikanth maintained a strong lead making it 9-6 before Praneeth managed three points in a row to equalise at 9-9. However, he could not hold the higher-ranked player as Srikanth extended his lead to 11-9 at the break.
Srikanth then went on to extend his lead to 16-12 before Praneeth came from behind and made it 16-16. Towards the end, Srikanth used all his experience to comfortably win the tie 21-17.
Srikanth will play Shi Yuqi of China, who defeated the defending champion Hans-Kristian Vittinghus 21-17, 21-12.
Published Date: Jun 23, 2017 15:29 PM | Updated Date: Jun 23, 2017 15:29 PM