Sindhu loses to Yamaguchi; finishes runner-up at Indonesia Open

Despite the loss, it was a season’s best performance for P.V. SIndhu, who had reached the semifinals at Singapore and India Open earlier this year.

P.V. Sindhu lost in straight games to Akane Yamaguchi in the final the Indonesia Open.   -  AP

P.V. Sindhu missed out on her first title of the year and the first Super 1000 title of her career after she was beaten in straight games by Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in the final of Indonesia Open, here on Sunday.

Yamaguchi beats Sindhu in final - As it happened

Sindhu lost the match 21-15, 21-16 in less than an hour. This was the 15th meeting between the two players and Sindhu still holds a 10-5 head-to-head lead over her.

The first game was a close affair with the two players going toe to toe for much of it. After 8-8, however, it was the Hyderabadi shuttler who took three consecutive points as Yamaguchi missed her lines and the Indian went into the mid-game interval with a 11-8 lead.

Yamaguchi then fought back and levelled the game at 14-14. The Japanese then went on the offensive and raced to an 18-14 lead. She won nine striaght points to take the first game 21-15 in 21 minutes.

World number four Yamaguchi never took her foot off the pedal after that and the second game was a much more one-sided affair. Aside from showing glimpses of a fight back, Sindhu was second-best for much of the second game and lost 21-16 in another 31 minutes.

This was Sindhu’s first final of 2019. She had two semi-final finishes this year - at the India Open in March, the Singapore Open in April.

She will next play at the Japan Open starting from July 23 and the Thailand Open in August, in the lead up to the BWF World Championships.