All England Championships 2020: PV Sindhu goes down fighting to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in quarter-final to end India's campaign

Sindhu squandered a sparkling start as Okuhara produced a rearguard action to outwit Sindhu 12-21 21-15 21-13 in a 68-minute last eight encounter at the Arena Birmimgham.

Press Trust of India March 13, 2020 22:15:47 IST
All England Championships 2020: PV Sindhu goes down fighting to Japan's Nozomi Okuhara in quarter-final to end India's campaign

Birmingham: World champion PV Sindhu was on Friday ousted from the All England Championship after being outplayed by a determined Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, who rallied her way to a thrilling three-game win in the quarter-final of the women's singles.

The 24-year-old Indian squandered a sparkling start as Okuhara produced a rearguard action to outwit Sindhu 12-21 21-15 21-13 in a 68-minute last eight encounter at the Arena Birmimgham.

All England Championships 2020 PV Sindhu goes down fighting to Japans Nozomi Okuhara in quarterfinal to end Indias campaign

File image of PV Sindhu. AFP

Sindhu's defeat ended India's campaign at the Super 1000 tournament.

Sindhu had come into the match with a 9-7 head-to-head record against Okuhara, having demolished the Japanese in the finals of the 2019 World Championships.

The Indian started the match with the same intensity, quickly moving to a 3-0 lead and then swelling the advantage to 7-2 with a precise shot at the backline.

The Japanese narrowed the gap to 5-8 before Sindhu unleashed a shot at the back and then grabbed another point when Okuhara found the net.

Sindhu entered the break with a five-point cushion. The Indian continued to dominate the proceedings after the breather, putting her opponent under pressure to gather points at will.

Okuhara got a few points with her straight and cross court smashes but those were too few as Sindhu zoomed to 18-9.

With Okuhara's weak returns going to the nets, Sindhu had a massive 20-11 advantage. The Indian quickly sealed the opening game when Okuhara erred again.

After the change of sides, Okuahara showed more intent, employing a low service and tried to put Sindhu on the back foot. It worked as she took a 5-2 lead. The Japanese engaged Sindhu in fierce rallies and forced her to make errors to lead 7-3.

A couple of unforced errors from Okuhara helped Sindhu to narrow the gap. A cross-court shot and return of serve helped Sindhu keep it to 8-10 before Okuhara entered the mid-game interval with a three-point lead.

Okuhara didn't let the momentum slip after the break as Sindhu failed to keep pace in the rallies. The result was that the Japanese jumped to a 16-9 lead in a jiffy.

With Sindhu going long twice, Okuhara led 18-10 and soon roared back into the contest when Sindhu found the net after saving three game points.

In the decider, Okuhara continued to dictate the pace of the rallies, leading 5-2 early on. The Japanese didn't allow Sindhu to attack, reducing the Indian to play the retrieving game.

A stunning return at the deep forehand of Sindhu gave Okuhara a 8-3 lead. The lightening quick Okuhara left Sindhu frustrated with her speed and placement as she grabbed a 11-5 advantage at the interval.

Errors continued to pile up for the Indian as Okuhara took a 16-7 lead. Sindhu missed the lines and found the net regularly to allow Okuhara move to 19-11. The Japanese eventually grabbed seven match points and sealed the match when Sindhu committed another error.

Updated Date:

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