French Open 2021: PV Sindhu loses to Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi in semi-final despite leading by a set

Although the Hyderabad shuttler showed great defensive skills, it only provoked Takahashi to knock smashes onto the other end of the court.

Yaksh Author

Updated - 30 October 2021 9:29 pm

India’s two-time Olympic medalist PV Sindhu returned from her two-month long break to compete in her second competition, French Open 2021, wherein she lost to Japan’s Sayaka Takahashi 21-18, 16-21, 12-21. With many badminton fans suggesting that the world number 7 is not at her best at the moment, PV Sindhu had paved her way into the semis after beating Thailand’s Busanan Ongbamrungphan in thunderous fashion.

On Saturday, the 26-year-old shuttler from Hyderabad squandered a one-game advantage to lose against the world number 15, failing to reach the summit clash. Those who are not aware, Takahashi is a bronze medalist at the 2013 and 2014 Asian Championships. More importantly, this was Sindhu’s fourth defeat against the 29-year-old Japanese shuttler in eight meetings.

Sayaka Takahashi comes back from behind to stun PV Sindhu

After losing in the quarterfinals in the Denmark Open just last week, many expected Sindhu to make a comeback. However, even after taking the first game, both the shuttlers were adamant in playing short rallies and aggressive shots to not hand over the long-term edge. Justifying the same, in the very first game, after the score was tied at 9-9, Takahashi drained a powerful smash on the cheeks of the world number 7. After which PV Sindhu struck back with venom and took home the opening game.

Although the Hyderabad shuttler showed great defensive skills, it only provoked Takahashi to knock smashes onto the other end of the court. Slowly losing her momentum, Takashi kept building upon consecutive point wins and stretched her lead in the remaining two games to enter the finals.

After securing her second consecutive medal at the Olympic games (silver in 2016 followed by bronze in 2021), Sindhu participates in her second event after taking a two-month break form the sport after the Tokyo Olympics 2021. Having said that, with the Commonwealth Games to be held next year, PV Sindhu will be eager to return back to her best in order to secure her first ever gold medal in those games. After losing the finals in 2018, Sindhu would be more determined than ever to embrace her skills in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.