Sindhu falters in Badminton Asia Championships

Taipei, April 19 (IANS) India’s campaign at the Badminton Asia Championships came to an end here Friday after rising shuttler P.V. Sindhu lost in the women’s singles quarter-finals to Japanese seventh seed Eriko Hirose in three games.

After beating former World No.1 Shixian Wang in the previous round Thursday at the Taipei Arena, the 17-year-old Indian looked in top form in the first two games but ran out of steam by the third and lost 19-21, 21-16, 11-21 in exactly an hour. With this, Eriko improved her head-to-head performance to 2-0 in career meetings against Sindhu.

The first game was tightly contested with neither player allowing the other to take more than a point at a stretch. But leading 17-16, Eriko clinched three consecutive points to reach the game point. The World No.16 Indian managed to save three of these but failed to save the final and most important one.

The second game also was a close battle with the Japanese going ahead 8-4 before Sindhu fought back and equalised at 14-all. Thereon, the Hyderabadi clinched five points and bagged the game in another couple of minutes, equalising the games.

In the third game, however, Sindhu looked like she would give a tough fight to the World No.12 but with the game poised evenly at 5-all, she started losing steam. Thereon, Sindhu only managed to win six points to Eriko’s 16, which sealed the match in the Japanese’s favour.

Sindhu will next play in the India Open Super Series here in the national capital next week while Eriko will next face second seed Yihan Wang of China in the semis Saturday.

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