Bengaluru, May 21: Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu's Thailand Open Super 500 Series campaign came to a grinding halt following her 17-21, 16-21 loss to China's Olympic champion Chen Yu Fei in the semifinals at Bangkok on Saturday (May 21).
Sindhu, two-time Olympics medallist had defeated world No.1 Akane Yamaguchi of Japan 21-15, 20-22, 21-13 in a 51-minute quarterfinal encounter on Friday.
But on Saturday, Chen provided a tough nut to crack for world No.7 Sindhu, who was seeded sixth in the Super 500 Series event.
After losing the first game, Sindhu had the advantage in the second where at one stage the 26-year-old had a 11-7 lead, but only to see Chen clawing her way back into the game as well as the match.
It had so far been a good outing for the Hyderabadi shuttler in Bangkok, who had taken just 37 minutes to score a 21-16 21-13 second-round win over South Korea's Sim Yu Jin.
Jin had played a pivotal role in South Korea's Uber Cup victory last week.
Earlier, Sindhu had defeated world No. 62 Lauren Lam of the USA 21-19, 19-21, 21-18 in a tough opening-round fixture.
Third-seeded Chen, on the other hand had reached the semifinals after a close encounter against unseeded Canadian Michelle Li.
The Chinese shuttler defeated the Canadian (21-14, 20-22, 21-17) in the last 8 match.
Earlier, the Chinese secured a straight games (21-16, 21-10) win over Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt in the first round and followed that with a closely contested come from beind (19-21, 21-14, 21-13) win over her compatriot Zhang Yiman.
Sindhu and Chen had crossed paths earlier as well. The former world champion from India has defeated the current Olympic champion in six of their previous 10 meetings so far.
However, this time Chen had the last laugh. It was the duo's the two first meeting since 2019 when Chen secured a comeback (20-22, 21-16, 21-12) win over Sindhu in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Tour Finals.
After a year's enforced break due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Super Series 500 event was making a return with the 34th edition of the Thailand Open.