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BWF World Tour Finals: Semis-bound Sindhu loses final group match; Srikanth, Ashwini-Sikki bow out

Bali, December 3: BWF World Tour Finals semifinal berth already sealed, two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu ended the group stage of the women's singles event with a defeat to top seed Pornpawee Chochuwong in Bali on Friday (December 3).

The 26-year-old Sindhu lost to Thailand's Chochuwong 12-21, 21-19, 14-21 in the final group A match that lasted for 1 hour and 11 minutes in Mangupura Hall - 1.

In a dead rubber match, Chochuwong stormed to an 11-6 lead in the first interval and closed out the game by 21-12 against the Indian.

The second game interval was the reversal of the first one as Sindhu lead Chochuwong 11-6. But the top-seed battled back and levelled the game at 19-19. Sindhu then held her nerve to force the decider by winning two points in a row.

The Indian had a terrific start in the deciding game, but Chochuwong came storming back. The Thai shuttler went from 5-6 to 11-7 at the interval and then faced no problem as she went on to clinch the game and the match.

Despite the loss, the Indian alongside the Thai, moves into the last 4 stage as she finishes in second place of group A after wins over Germany's Yvone Li and Denmark's Line Christophersen.

The 2018 champion Sindhu will face group B winner Japan's Akane Yamaguchi in the semifinal on Saturday (December 4), while Chochuwong, the group B winners, will face An Seyoung of South Korea in the other semifinal.

Also reaching the semifinals in his first ever World Tour Finals appearace, Lakshya Sen got a walkover in his final group A match against Denmark's Rasmus Gemke, who pulled out of the tournament due to injury.

Lakshya, who lost his only group stage match in straight games to Denmark's Viktor Axelsen on Thursday (December 2), will meet Malaysian Lee Zii Jia in the last 4 match.

Earlier on Friday (December 3), Kidambi Srikanth bowed out of the season-ending tournament after losing to second-seeded Malaysian Lee in straight games in his third and final men's singles group B match.

The former world no. 1 Indian was no match for Lee, the reigning All England champion, going down 19-21, 14-21 in 37 minutes to end his campaign with back-to-back defeats.

It was also Srikanth's second loss to the world no. 8 Malaysian, who had defeated the Indian at Hylo Open in straight games.

Srikanth trailed 0-3 at the start but made his way to a slim 9-8 lead at one stage. An alert Lee, however, ensured a two-point advantage at the interval.

A six-point burst helped the Indian to again grab a 17-15 lead, but he let it slip as Lee pocketed the opening game.

Srikanth made a good start in the second game, moving to a 7-3 advantage, but Lee once again turned the tables, jumping to 13-9 and kept his nose ahead to eventually shut the doors on the Indian.

Meanwhile, Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy of India defeated the Great Britain pair of Chloe Birch and Lauren Smith 21-19, 9-21, 21-14. However, the the Indian duo are out of contention as they lost their opening two matches.

(With Agency inputs)

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Story first published: Friday, December 3, 2021, 16:28 [IST]
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