Tokyo, Sep 13: India's star female shuttler and current World No. 3 PV Sindhu suffered a shock defeat at the hands of China's Gao Fangjie in the second round of Japan Open Super Series on Thursday (September 13).
Third seed Sindhu always looked to catch up with her Chinese opponent, who is ranked 14th in the women's singles rankings and ended up losing the match 21-18, 21-19.
The Indian ace had to consistently sweat it out from the beginning of the game and never looked in control of her game. Sindhu made too many forced errors and let the advantage slip away from her hands.
In the first game itself, Gao had taken a whopping 8-2 lead and the Indian was always left to follow her opponent. In the second half of the first game, the Hyderabadi shuttler seemed a little tired but gave a good fight to recover but the Chinese eventually won the first game 21-18.
Sindhu started the second and must-win game on a positive note as she took 5-0 lead but a couple of unforced errors cost the Indian shuttler and the Chinese made a comeback to take the advantage to 11-7 at the midgame break. Sindhu could never recover from that as her opponent kept maintaining the lead to eventually sink her 21-19 and win the match in straight sets.
Gao had defeated the other Indian in fray Jakka Vaishnavi Reddy 21-10, 21-8 to set up the round of 16 clash with Sindhu and came out victorious here too.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sindhu had to sweat it out for 53 minutes before prevailing 21-17, 7-21, 21-13 over unseeded local girl Sayaka Takahashi in her women's singles opening round.
Having finished second-best yet again with a historic silver in the Asian Games, Olympic medallist Sindhu had yet another shock defeat.
Sindhu has been outstanding with silver medals in all the major events this year -- the Commonwealth Games, the World Championship and the Asian Games but the gold has been eluding the Indian for a while now.